Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Wisconsin.
Spring Practice Begins: Thursday, March 24
Spring Game: Saturday, April 28
Returning Starters: Four on offense, six on defense, no specialists
Three Things To Watch For:
1. A whole lot of new faces on offense. Montee Ball is back for the Badgers, which is a good thing, but he may not recognize many other faces in the huddle. Wisconsin has only four starters on offense returning in 2012, with Russell Wilson, Nick Toon and three offensive linemen amongst the departures. On top of all that, former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst is now the head coach at Pittsburgh and has been replaced by Matt Canada. So this spring will be just as much about transition on the offensive side of the ball as it is position battles.
2. There will still be a quarterback competition, though. Even if it isn't complete, as the Badgers only have two healthy quarterbacks on the roster. Jon Budmayr will likely miss camp this spring, and Curt Phillips is still recovering from an injury and won't see much action either. Which leaves Joe Brennan and Joel Stave, a redshirt freshman and a true freshman respectively. This spring will be a golden opportunity for both players to show Matt Canada and Brett Bielema whether or not the two can handle the load, or they can further convince Bielema that he needs Danny O'Brien.
3. A new defensive line. There aren't just departures on offense, as Wisconsin only have six returning starters on defense, and has to find almost an entirely new defensive line. While Ethan Hemer should hold on to his starting spot at defensive tackle, Jordan Kohout and Beau Allen will both be fighting to start alongside him. Then at the ends Wisconsin will have David Gilbert, Brendan Kelly, Pat Muldoon and Tyler Dippel all fighting for spots.
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