Wisconsin LB Chris Orr receives medical redshirt

MADISON — Wisconsin is focused on the 2017 season, but the school got some good news for its future on Wednesday.

Team officials said linebacker Chris Orr, who was injured at the beginning of last season, got his medical redshirt approved by the NCAA. Though it was thought to be a foregone conclusion he would receive the year, the paperwork makes it official, and it leaves him a redshirt sophomore with three years of eligibility remaining.

Orr started six games a freshman in 2015 and was in the lineup at the beginning of 2016 against LSU when his knee buckled on the first defensive snap of the year. It proved to be a torn ACL and kept him out the rest of the season and all of spring practice. Orr returned to the field this week when the team opened fall camp and hasn’t been restricted at all outside of having to wear a knee brace.

The Texas native is currently playing with the second-team defense at inside linebacker behind senior Jack Cichy and junior T.J. Edwards.

Wisconsin opens the season Sept. 1 against Utah State at Camp Randall Stadium.

Ex-Badgers WR Wheelwright signed by Chiefs

KANSAS CITY — Former University of Wisconsin wide receiver Robert Wheelwright has found his new home after signing a one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wheelwright spent the last thee-plus months as a free agent after being released by the New York Giants in May. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants in April after some initial confusion over his “Carolina Panthers” Tweet that same night.

The Columbus, Ohio native joins fellow former Badger quarterback Joel Stave on the Kansas City roster after Stave was added to the Chiefs practice squad last November. Wheelwright finished his senior year with a career-high 448 yards on 34 receptions, though he only had one touchdown.

The NFL.com scouting report on Wheelwright wasn’t very promising heading into the NFL Draft. He was described as having a habit of making mental errors.

Summary: A bit of an underachiever. Wheelwright has all of the physical tools, but hasn’t quite lived up to his four-star status. Was a dependable receiver for the last two seasons for the Badgers. Doesn’t play as big as his size suggests. Will likely play the X in the NFL, despite playing the Z in Madison. Needs to get stronger, and develop more of a mean streak. Will get a camp invite, and could stick as a practice squad player for a year or two before getting a chance at a main roster.

Walk-ons Henry Houden and Ricky Finco leaving UW football team (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin tradition of emerging from walk-on status to folk hero has come to an end for in-state wide receivers Henry Houden and Ricky Finco.

UW officials confirmed Sunday morning that Houden and Finco will be leaving the football team, but will remain enrolled at the university. No reason was given for their departures.

Houden, a blooming scout player out of Madison Memorial High School, saw injuries take a toll on his contributions to the team. The news on Finco’s departure comes the day after catching a 70-yard touchdown from Kare Lyles on the first day of fall camp.

Finco was rated as the No. 18 recruit out of Arrowhead High School, per 247 Sports. He won a WIAA Division 1 State Championship in 2013 before going on to play one season at UW Whitewater. He told the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network last spring that being a Badger was a lifelong dream.

Finco played in 12 games for the Badgers last season, returning two punts for 16 total yards.

While no details were given on why exactly Houden and Finco are walking away, the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway believes it could have something to do with declining opportunities for the Wisconsin natives.

Badgers excited for a healthy Taiwan Deal at running back

MADISON — Paul Chryst doesn’t normally offer up information on his own. Ask him a question about his team or a player and you’ll usually get something from the third-year coach, but he rarely volunteers anything without prompting. That’s what made his comments a few months ago about Taiwan Deal noteworthy.

Following the spring game in April, the Wisconsin coach was asked about the battle at running back between sophomore Bradrick Shaw and junior Chris James. After talking about those two, though, he brought up Deal’s name, saying they were excited to get him back after he missed the entire spring following offseason surgery.

The answer caught a few people off guard considering Deal had all of 12 carries in the final three months of the 2016 season and finished the year with 164 yards and no touchdowns. While it was known he’d been dealing with an ankle injury, most didn’t know how bad it actually was. It happened early in the year, and he never felt right the rest of the way. But Deal had surgery on the ankle after the season, took part in summer workouts and is now ready to push for time in a backfield that needs to replace 405 carries and 1,881 yards of production from a year ago.

“He healed up in the spring, had a great summer,” running backs coach John Settle said Friday. “The strength staff is fired up about how he finished the summer. Nobody is happier than he is to take the field without the worries of his ankle popping out on him.”

LISTEN: RBs coach John Settle talks Chris James, Bradrick Shaw and Taiwan Deal

Deal has rarely been healthy in his time at Wisconsin. He suffered a broken hand as a true freshman that led him to redshirt, had 503 yards and six touchdowns in 2015 but was plagued by an ankle injury over the second half of the year, and then was barely heard from after the month of September last fall.

“That’s been the frustrating thing for us,” Settle said of Deal’s injury issues. “Talent-wise, he’s probably the most natural of a guy we’ve had on the roster. But he’s always had something that’s been nagging him and couldn’t reach his full potential, in my mind.”

At 6-foot-1, 219 pounds, Deal has show an ability to run with power and averaged 5.1 yards per carry in his limited action as a sophomore. While Shaw and James both had strong springs, the belief at this point is there won’t be one back that dominates the carries, with the Badgers willing to spread the wealth to all that deserve it and that should include Deal — if he can stay healthy.

“He now feels good about where he is,” Settle said. “He’s chomping at the bit and ready to go.”

Practice No. 1

Wisconsin hit the field for the first practice of fall camp on Saturday. Here are a few things that stood out.

— As we first reported on Friday, junior Michael Deiter did indeed line up at left tackle with the first-team offense. Splitting his time between center and guard the last two years, Deiter has started 27 straight games and is now being asked to fill the void left by All-American Ryan Ramczyk, who was taken in the first round of the NFL draft in April. But the move, at least according to Chryst, isn’t that big of a deal and may not even be permanent.

“It was permanent today,” the coach said. “But he’s still going to have to do some center stuff and guard [stuff]. As we go through camp you’ll see a lot of guys moving. I wouldn’t try to make that any [kind of] lead story for anybody.”

The rest of the first-team line had sophomore Jon Dietzen at left guard, redshirt freshman Tyler Biadasz at center, junior Beau Benzschawel at right guard and sophomore David Edwards at right tackle.

The second line consisted of redshirt freshman Cole Van Lanen at LT, junior Micah Kapoi at LG, junior Brett Connors at C, sophomore Jason Erdmann at RG and redshirt freshman Patrick Kasl at RT.

LISTEN: OC Joe Rudolph is very high on center Tyler Biadasz

— The closest thing to a play of the day was quarterback Alex Hornibrook hooking up with wide receiver Jazz Peavy for a long touchdown in 7-on-7 drills. The senior put a double move on the cornerback and had 10 yards of separation by the time the ball found him.

— There were no surprises on the defensive depth chart with the first-team looking like this:

DL: senior Conor Sheehy, junior Olive Sagapolu, senior Alec James
OLB: seniors Garrett Dooley, Leon Jacobs
ILB: senior Jack Cichy, junior T.J. Edwards
CB: senior Derrick Tindal, junior Nick Nelson
S: senior Natrell Jamerson, junior D’Cota Dixon

— During the special teams period, Peavy, Nelson and a pair of true freshmen — WRs Danny Davis and Cade Green — were back as punt returners.

The versatile Michael Deiter, Alex Hornibrook works with Peyton Manning and a practice in Milwaukee

MADISON — What appeared to be a move out of necessity in the spring has turned into a legitimate possibility for the University of Wisconsin.

When the Badgers open fall camp on Saturday, junior Michael Deiter, who has started a total of 27 games at left guard and center the last two years, will be lining up at left tackle with the first-team offense. The Curtice, Ohio native saw time at the position near the end of spring when sophomore David Edwards went down with an ankle injury, but it was unclear if the move would be long-term. While things can certainly change before Wisconsin opens the season on Sept. 1 against Utah State, Deiter is penciled in as the replacement for All-American Ryan Ramczyk.

“I was more comfortable than I expected,” Deiter said of the move on Friday afternoon at Wisconsin’s local media day. “The transition wasn’t as intense as I thought it was going to be. It was pretty natural. I’m really excited to see what I can do at the start of camp out there.”

Edwards will open camp back at right tackle, which is where he started the final seven games of the 2016 season. He’s expected to battle redshirt freshman Patrick Kasl for that job.

LISTEN: OC Joe Rudolph on what Michael Deiter’s versatility could mean for him in the NFL

Wisconsin, especially during coach Paul Chryst’s tenure, has been focused on trying to get its best five players on the field along the line no matter the positions the guys are playing. By having Deiter at left tackle, and Edwards back on the right side, the coaching staff thinks, at least at this point, this is the best way to do it.

The move of Deiter could not be possible without the emergence of redshirt freshman Tyler Biadasz. Though he had never played center before coming to Wisconsin, the 6-foot-3, 316-pound, Biadasz took right to the position and the staff almost used him a year ago when injuries cropped up. In the spring, with several players sitting out, the Amherst, Wis., product took almost all of the first-team reps at center to put himself in the mix.

“Tyler wants it. You feel that, and the players feel that throughout the room,” offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said Friday. “He’s tough. He worked from day one. He wants the stress of making the right calls and executing. That’s why he’s got a right — and a great opportunity — to start at center.”

Practice in Milwaukee

Wisconsin will take fall camp on the road this year, with the school announcing Friday it will hold a practice in Milwaukee that will be open to the public. The team will then take in a Milwaukee Brewers game.

“I’ve always felt it would be great for Wisconsin to go to Milwaukee,” Chryst said. “You appreciate all the fans from the Milwaukee area that come here all the time.”

The practice will take place on Aug. 10 at Custer Stadium and should help to break up the monotony that takes hold during fall camp.

“I thought it’d be a good day for us,” Chryst said. “And then to be able to tie in something that would be a good experience for our players, go the Brewer game, I thought it’d be a good day.”

Alex Hornibrook with Peyton Manning

Named Wisconsin’s starting quarterback before spring practice, Alex Hornibrook continued his push to improve this offseason. The redshirt sophomore was among more than 40 college quarterbacks invited to take part in the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana in late June.

Started by former NFL quarterback Archie Manning in 1996, the camp is described as the premier offensive football skills camp in the nation for QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs. Two of Manning’s sons that went on to star in the NFL as quarterbacks — Peyton and Eli — are a part of it, which made it special for Hornibrook.

“The coolest thing was probably just being around Peyton and Eli,” Hornibrook said. “Those are two guys I’ve looked up to my whole life. Peyton is still my all-time favorite quarterback. To be able to be there and learn from him was an awesome experience.”

LISTEN: Alex Hornibrook talks about how he came to be a Peyton Manning fan.

Scholarship players missing

The Badgers can carry 105 players on their fall camp roster, so scholarship guys rarely get left off. But that will be the case this fall for a few of them.

Four guys — right tackle Jake Maxwell, linebacker Mason Stokke, cornerback Faion Hicks and running back Sam Broadner — were not on the roster distributed to the media on Friday due to injuries. Maxwell had offseason shoulder surgery and missed spring practice. Stokke sustained a knee injury and Chryst said during Big Ten media days in Chicago that he suffered a setback this summer. Hicks, an early enrollee, underwent shoulder surgery midway through spring practice. And Broadner suffered a knee injury in the spring game.

It’s unclear when, or if, any of the four will be able to join the team at any point during fall camp.

A fifth player, junior nose guard Jeremy Patterson, was also not included on the roster. A 3-star recruit out of Georgia, the 6-foot-3, 351-pound Patterson has been unable to get on the field for any meaningful snaps in his career and had been passed by some younger players in the spring.

Quote of the day

“Center, two guards, two tackles.”

— Rudolph when asked by a reporter what his lineup along the offensive line would be if they had a game tomorrow.

Minnesota largely downplays the importance of beating Wisconsin

There was a noticeable absence of buzz around Big Ten media days this week in Chicago. Whether it was due to the conference’s top players not being there, the lack of memorable one-liners or just media day fatigue on the part of the national media, the loud noises that came from SEC and ACC media days earlier this month were generally nowhere to be found.

And that extended to what had become a staple at the event in recent years — Minnesota players promising that they’d be parading around with Paul Bunyan’s Axe after beating Wisconsin that fall. It hasn’t happened, of course, as the Badgers have won 13 straight times, but the passion of the players each year always provided a guaranteed headline that would stoke the fires of the most-played rivalry in college football.

On Tuesday, though, there were no dramatic statements from the Gophers contingent when they spoke with reporters inside a ballroom at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. They sidestepped nearly every question about rivalry games, including this year’s matchup with the Badgers on the final day of the regular season.

LISTEN: Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck says he took the Gophers job to win a Big Ten title

“Wisconsin is something we are not focused on right now,” defensive lineman Steven Richardson said. “We’ll focus on that down the line. We’re just as hungry for that as we are for the first game [against Buffalo].”

Running back Rodney Smith came the closest to admitting the importance of games like Wisconsin and Iowa, but the senior caught himself and laid out qualifiers while answering the question.

“Every game is a big game, but that’s definitely one the state expects us to win,” Smith said. “[We’ll] take it each game at a time, but that game specifically, we’re all looking forward to it.”

Those responses are a far cry from 2014 when defensive back Cedric Thompson talked openly about how badly he wanted the Axe back in the Twin Cities, and running back David Cobb spoke confidently about chopping down the Badgers goal posts when — not if — they won their end of the season matchup.

LISTEN: P.J. Fleck doesn’t deny being a self promoter, says every coach is.

But this is a different Minnesota outfit, and the outside message has changed. Though new coach P.J. Fleck is definitely an energetic, fast talker that feels like he’s always trying to sell you something, the former Western Michigan head man has clearly made it a priority to have his guys think about the process and not what will happen four months from now.

“I’ve never talked about winning. I’ve never talked about the number of wins. We’ve talked about building our culture the way that we build it,” Fleck said on Tuesday. “Same thing when we went from 1-11 [at Western Michigan] to 13-1. We didn’t talk about winning. We talked about every day, winning the day. Being better than we were yesterday.”

It seemed clear that the players brought to Chicago had adopted a similar mindset or had at least been coached well enough to stay on message. Any attempt to get them to open up on their desire about finally beating Wisconsin and getting the Axe back was met with answers that sounded like they came out of a textbook full of cliches.

“No,” linebacker Jonathan Celestin said when asked if they talked about the Badgers at all. “Right now we’re just focused on getting better day-by-day, trying to make sure we’re ready when camp comes, then ready for Buffalo and taking it one week at a time.”

LISTEN: P.J. Fleck was amazed at what UW TE Troy Fumagalli did to his team in the Cotton Bowl.

Once Jack Cichy stopped feeling sorry for himself, he turned his season-ending injury into a positive

CHICAGO — As Jack Cichy sat on the team bus outside of Ryan Field last November, the Wisconsin linebacker couldn’t help but think how much his fortunes had changed in just three weeks time.

His team had just finished off a 21-7 win against Northwestern, but Cichy’s mind floated back to Oct. 15 when he put on a show in a 30-23 overtime loss to No. 6 Ohio State. The then-junior finished with 15 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack. Several scouts, including the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, raved on social media about Cichy, whose profile was on the rise. A week later his breakout season was over, done in by a torn pectoral muscle suffered against Iowa.

“In the weeks leading up to the injury, I [was gaining] more notoriety,” Cichy said Monday at Big Ten media days. “And then to have it all come crashing down, [was tough]. Having all that notoriety one day and the next day you’re kind of off in the shadows, was weird. That was definitely very trying.”

It was as if he was rolling along at 90 miles per hour and hit a brick wall, with the mental anguish on par with the physical.

“I was down in the dumps, man. It was tough,” Cichy said of the weeks after the injury. “I was not in a good place. Feeling sorry for myself. And mentally, not as strong as I would have liked. It really tested me a lot.”

LISTEN: Jack Cichy on the difficulty the coaches will have in deciding who will start at inside linebacker

It’s usually at this point in the story that someone like Cichy would have a conversation with a coach or a teammate or a family member that would all of a sudden set him on the right path mentally. But that’s not what happened. Instead, Cichy just opened up his eyes to what was around him, which resulted in what he called an epiphany.

“I saw I had teammates that were supporting me. I had a team that was winning. I had coaches that really cared about me and family that stuck by me,” Cichy said.

“As selfish as I was those first two weeks [after the injury], at the same time I got to be around football every day. I got to be around the facilities. I got to remember that I was blessed with the opportunity to [be a] part of one of the best programs in college football. Just being able to appreciate that, day in and day out, and kind of help anyway I could, that’s really what got the ball rolling as far as my mental state and the rehab itself.”

When Cichy stopped feeling sorry for himself, his rehab took off. By the time spring practice rolled around in March, he claimed to be 100 percent recovered — a month earlier than expected. The former walk-on was kept out of full contact drills but still had a huge presence throughout the 15 practices, especially vocally. That, along with what he called the most productive summer he’s had at Wisconsin, led to his teammates voting him as one of their five captains.

LISTEN: Paul Chryst says his message hasn’t changed despite outside expectations going up.

All of the work has him feeling the best he ever has and positioned him for what could potentially be a big senior year that will result in the team being successful and him moving on to the NFL — something that he was thinking about last year before the injury.

“Me and my dad…really talked about it. We were kind of on the same page (that a conversation about leaving or staying likely would have been needed),” Cichy said. “My mom, on the other hand, she was very opposed to even [having] the discussion, even though it was a real discussion.

“In hindsight, I’m really glad I never had to face that decision. Obviously, the injury sucked, but a lot of good has come out of it. And I’m really excited to showcase all that.”

Being named captains is special for former walk-ons Jack Cichy and Troy Fumagalli

CHICAGO — Wisconsin’s walk-on tradition has become a well known contributor to the Badgers success since former coach Barry Alvarez arrived in 1990. From Joe Panos early in Alvarez’s tenure to Donnell Thompson, Jim Leonhard, J.J. Watt, Jared Abbrederis and many more, the school has thrived at finding under the radar players, developing them and watching them become stars.

Many have gone on to be captains and leaders on a number of the more successful teams in program history. That will be the case again in 2017, as former walk-ons Jack Cichy and Troy Fumagalli were named team captains on Monday.

“It means a lot to me especially because it was voted on by our players,” Fumagalli said. “I always think about the responsibility that comes with it. It’s cool they named me that. It’s my chance to be the best player and teammate I can be.

LISTEN: Jack Cichy joins ‘The Camp’ at Big Ten media days.

Cichy and Fumagalli earned their scholarships prior to the 2015 season and have been key players in helping the Badgers win 21 games the last two years.

One of the top tight ends in the country, Fumagalli led Wisconsin with 47 catches in 2016, while Cichy burst onto the scene late in 2015, including back-to-back-to-back sacks in the Holiday Bowl. The senior was off to a big start last season before suffering a torn left pectoral muscle and missing the rest of the year.

LISTEN: Troy Fumagalli joins ‘The Camp’ to talk about his legacy at Wisconsin and more

“It means a lot,” Cichy said at Big Ten media days. “I’m super appreciative, and I know a huge responsibility comes with that. Being an instate kid, being a walk-on, to earn the respect of my peers and teammates, have them vote me into that, it’s a great honor. And I know it’s all for naught if I don’t take the responsibility and be up to the challenge.”

The pair will be joined as captains by safety D’Cota Dixon, center Michael Deiter and defensive lineman Conor Sheehy.

Expectations change but the message doesn’t, UW-ND at Lambeau, and a longer fall camp

CHICAGO — Some thought Wisconsin wouldn’t win more than six games in 2016. No way were the Badgers going to make it through an early season gauntlet that had them facing LSU, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska all within the first eight games of the season. But they did more than just make it through. They vastly exceeded expectations, going 4-2 against those teams on their way to earning a Big Ten West title and a victory in the Cotton Bowl against Western Michigan.

With 15 starters back on a team likely to start the year in the top-15 in the country, the script of questions at the start of Big Ten Media Days this week in Chicago had gone in the complete opposite direction from where they were a year ago. They were still still about the schedule, but instead of which games can the Badgers win, the questions were more focused on which games — or perhaps game — could trip them up?

There is no Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State or SEC team on this year’s slate, and that’s led oddsmakers to put their over/under win total at 9.5 games. If they don’t win north of that number with what many are calling an easy schedule, some fans may lose their minds over what would surely be a disappointment in their eyes.

“That’s just an outsiders view,” junior linebacker T.J. Edwards said Monday on ‘The Camp’. “At the end of the day, every team we play is going to be a good team. If we don’t come out ready to play, they’re going to let us know [how good they are] by beating us.”

Coach Paul Chryst seemed adamant about not allowing his guys to think like outsiders do, especially after they so often had to answer the negative questions last summer.

“It’s the same talking points. It’s just flipped,” he said. “If you were going to buy into that last year, and agree you can’t worry about what’s said, now you can’t all of a sudden start reading and saying, ‘This is right.’ They know better. We’ve got to make sure they do.”

While the Badgers are the favorites to win the Big Ten West — 31 of 38 voters in a preseason media poll picked them — they aren’t expected to end up as conference champions. Most think that’ll be Ohio State or someone else from the East Division, which is thought to be much stronger than the one Wisconsin resides in and has won twice in the last three years. But Chryst is consistent in his thoughts about that outside noise.

“[I] certainly have a ton of respect for Ohio State and Coach [Urban] Meyer and the players they have,” Chryst said. “[But] that’s what is great about this season. You have to go play it. And all the talk doesn’t really matter.”

Finally going to happen

It’s looking like Wisconsin will be playing in more professional football stadiums in the near future.

The Chicago Tribune reported Monday morning that the Badgers and Notre Dame were in talks to play a game at Soldier Field. Then, at the team’s annual shareholders meeting later in the morning, Green Bay Packers team president Mark Murphy told reporters they were getting close to a deal that would have the teams play at Lambeau Field, too.

“We’ve been working on that for a while, and I would hope very soon we’d be able to announce something soon,” Murphy said, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “Obvious [that] a Notre Dame-Wisconsin would be pretty special.”

Until it is announced, we won’t know the exactly details, but it seems likely that it will look similar to the series the Badgers had with LSU, playing at NRG Stadium in Houston in 2014 and then at Lambeau Field in 2016.

Wisconsin and Notre Dame have long been mentioned as potential opponents, especially with former coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez’s time there as an assistant before he came to the Badgers in 1990. Former coach Bret Bielema had also been pushing for a game with the Irish.

“It means we’d play Notre Dame,” Chryst said with a laugh when asked what it would mean to play Notre Dame. “It was neat for our players to play in Lambeau. That was a good experience.

“I don’t know where all those [conversations] are at, but I think it could be pretty cool.”

The two teams haven’t played each other since 1964, and Notre Dame leads the series 8-6-2 all-time.

No two-a-days

Wisconsin will report to fall camp on Friday, with their first practice coming on Saturday, which more than a week earlier than they started last year. Why? Well, a new rule put in place by the NCAA has made it so you can no longer hold two-a-days — a name for when there are two practices in a single day.

The Badgers started camp in 2016 on Aug. 8, 26 days before they opened the season. With things getting underway on Saturday, they will have 34 days before they play Utah State on Sept. 1.

“You try to come up with a good plan and be ready to adjust it if you need to,” Chryst said of tackling a more drawn out preseason. “In my mind, how do you take what used to be fall camp, which was kind of fun — it was a grind — and now make it more fall practice? How do you space it out?”

The idea behind the change was made with player safety in mind, though no one has anyway of knowing whether limiting the number of practices per day will also limit injuries, especially because there will be an additional week of practice thrown in. It was also thought that most players would be in favor of it, and maybe they are. But one Wisconsin player says he’s not a fan.

“I think if you can have camp shorter, but get the same amount of practices in, I think it benefits the team,” Edwards said Monday on ‘The Camp.’ “Once you get camp over you can really stretch out the time and get guys rest.”

Still, Edwards admitted he wasn’t sure what would really change.

“It’s not a huge deal. It’s still going to be camp,” said Edwards, who has missed much of the last two summers due to injury. “It is what it is. You’ve got to attack it no matter what.”

UW’s Cichy & Fumagalli garner Big Ten Preseason Honors

CHICAGO | The Big Ten Conference announced its 2017 football preseason honors on Monday in conjunction with the start of Big Ten Media Days at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. A media panel selected the 10-member preseason list, with five representatives each from the East and West divisions.

Wisconsin and Northwestern each had two standouts selected to represent the West Division. The Wildcats were represented by three-time honoree and senior running back Justin Jackson and senior safety Goodwin Igwebuike, while the Badgers saw senior linebacker Jack Cichy and senior tight end Troy Fumagalli earn recognition. Iowa senior linebacker Josey Jewell completed the West Division honorees. Cichy, Fumagalli, Igwebuike and Jewell garnered Big Ten football preseason honors for the first time in their careers.

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst also announced that Fumagalli, D’Cota Dixon, Michael Deiter, Cichy and Conor Sheehy will serve as the Badgers’ team captains this season.

Ohio State and Penn State each fielded a pair of honorees on the East Division roster. The Buckeyes were represented by senior quarterback J.T. Barrett and senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis, while the Nittany Lions saw junior running back Saquon Barkley and senior quarterback Trace McSorley make the list. Indiana senior linebacker Tegray Scales rounded out the East Division lineup. Barrett and Barkley each garnered Big Ten football preseason honors for the second consecutive season.

The 2017 Big Ten preseason honors list features the reigning Graham-George Offensive Player and Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year in Barkley and the returning Big Ten Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year in Lewis, who are among nine All-Big Ten selections on the squad. Barkley, Barrett and Lewis were first-team All-Big Ten picks last year, while Jackson was a first-team choice by the media and a second-team selection by the coaches. Other second- and third-team All-Conference honorees last year who made this year’s preseason honors list include Fumagalli, Igwebuike, Jewell, McSorley and Scales.

The full list of Big Ten football preseason honorees is as follows:

 

EAST DIVISION

Tegray Scales, Sr., LB, IND

J.T. Barrett, Sr., QB, OSU

Tyquan Lewis, Sr., DE, OSU

Saquon Barkley, Jr., RB, PSU

Trace McSorley, Sr., QB, PSU

 

WEST DIVISION

Josey Jewell, Sr., LB, IOWA

Goodwin Igwebuike, Sr., S, NU

Justin Jackson, Sr., RB, NU

Jack Cichy, Sr., LB, WIS

Troy Fumagalli, Sr., TE, WIS