Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
August 26, 2013With under a week left before Gary Andersen's first game as head coach of the Badgers, Wisconsin released its first depth chart of the 2013 season Monday.
BadgerBlitz.com take a closer look at each position.
Official - Quarterback: Joel Stave OR Curt Phillips
Andersen: "We had a flip-flop at linebacker a week ago. We didn't sit down and send out smoke signals and have a big meeting about it, we just said it is what it is. And we believe in the direction we're headed with the young men involved. And it's in house, the way we do everything. But the quarterbacks know who is going to play."
Extra: Though Andersen has not yet announce his starting quarterback publicly, all signs point to Stave, who gained starting experience last year before going down for a shoulder injury.
Official - Running backs: TB: James White, Melvin Gordon
FB: Derek Watt, Derek Straus
Andersen: "They're both going to get a ton of reps. We have running back A and B or running back one and one, however you want to put it. They'll be effective in the offense and be a big part of the offense and both have big play capability.
Extra: While White and Gordon will get the bulk of the carries, expect true freshman Corey Clement to contribute early. The four-star prospect proved he's ready to play at a high level for Wisconsin. Watt had receiving touchdowns in both open scrimmages this fall.
Official - Wide receivers: Jared Abbrederis, Alex Erickson
Jordan Fredrick, Kenzel Doe
Extra: Erickson, a former walk-on, has worked his way into the rotation this fall. The staff, however, is still looking for consistent production behind Abbrederis, who is entering his final season at Wisconsin.
Official - Tight ends: Jacob Pedersen, Sam Arneson
Brian Wozniak, Brock DeCicco
Extra: Tight end is one of the deepest positions on the roster with four capable players ready to contribute. Pedersen is the playmaker, while DeCicco has proved to be a threat in the passing game as well. Eric Steffes and Austin Traylor are likely No. 5 and No. 6 on the tight end pecking order.
Official - Exterior offensive line: LT: Tyler Marz, Hayden Biegel
RT: Rob Havenstein, Walker Williams
Andersen: "Tyler did take advantage of the opportunity he had in camp playing tackle, moving into playing some guard, playing the other tackle, three day run of practices where he was playing almost the whole practice. Did a tremendous job."
Extra: It's a surprise to see Biegel, a true freshman, listed as the No. 2 left tackle. It's possible Biegel could travel this year, but it's likely the preference of the staff is to allow him to redshirt this fall. Marz is poised to make his first career start Saturday.
Official - Interior offensive line: LG: Ryan Groy, Ray Ball
C: Dallas Lewallen OR Dan Voltz
RG: Zac Matthias OR Kyle Costigan
Andersen: "Ryan is very experienced at guard. He's been very unselfish, very open to moving wherever we ask him to play. I think he looks at helping the team first, and number two helping his development of his future, which is the way he should look at it. I think it's good to look at it both those ways.
"But he's played a lot of football at the guard spot. Could he play left tackle? Absolutely. It's just a matter of putting it all together. He's a very versatile young man, very smart. He would help a young center, if Dan was in there or Dallas, for that case, just to call moving defense a little bit, Ryan's played a whole bunch of football so that could help there also.
"So that plays a factor. It's not the ultimate factor but that's part of the equation as coach Woods and the offensive staff tried to make sure we get the best five out there consistently. But I think you're going to see six or seven of them play in the game."
Extra: Voltz and Costigan don't figure to be 100 percent Saturday, which has forced the staff to make some adjustments on the line. Ball has developed into a reliable guard and could play if needed this season.
Official - Defensive line: LDE: Pat Muldoon OR Tyler Dippel
NG: Beau Allen, Warren Herring
RDE: Ethan Hemer, Konrad Zagzebski
Extra: This unit has stayed pretty well in tact all fall. All four starters -- counting Dippel -- are seniors and have played a lot of football for Wisconsin.
Official - Inside linebacker: Chris Borland, Marcus Trotter
Derek Landisch OR Conor O'Neill
Andersen: "I think Landisch, as he went through camp he was so productive in the scrimmages, like we talked about. But they're going to play a lot. And (Marcus) Trotter is going to play some, too. You get in there with Chris (Borland), I think as we go through the year you're going to see Chris involved in some edge rushing and some possibilities there. And so we're going to need all four of those really starting inside linebackers, if you will. Chris will be on the field all the time, at least most of the time for sure."
Extra: Borland is the proven leader and should be as good as any linebacker in the country. Landisch and O'Neill have battled all fall. Expect both to see a good amount of time in 2013.
Official - Outside linebacker: Brendan Kelly, Vince Biegel
Ethan Armstrong, Joe Schobert
Andersen: "I feel good about him Armstrong) when he's out there. Ethan's played so many snaps. He's a good tackler. And he understands concepts of defense from the media room."
"The outside linebackers which we call our F and our Bs, they're very different. Both outside linebackers. The B is more a defensive end body type with the ability to drop into coverage. That can change from year to year or even from the depth chart from the first one to the first team young men to the second team young men. Which we're a little bit like that now with B.K. (Kelly) starting at the B and then Vince comes in, it's a little different body type, but job description is the same.
"So the scheme doesn't change but the alignments may change a little bit with those guys. The F linebacker is a big safety. We'd rather see him as a safety, smaller linebacker body versus the B backer, who is a bigger defensive and slash linebacker body. Those are the four."
Extra: Outside linebacker is awfully deep this year. Outside of the four listed, Nick Hill, Jesse Hayes, Leon Jacobs and even Alec James could see time this year. Armstrong missed a good deal of camp but should be good to go Saturday. Kelly in making the transition from end to linebacker.
Official - Cornerbacks: Peniel Jean, T.J. Reynard
Darius Hillary, Sojourn Shelton, Jakarrie Washington
Andersen: "Dez (Southward) is going to be the number two nickel. So one of those first three corners will be out there doing what they do. And if T.J. (Reynard) is completely healthy and ready to go, he would be the fourth corner, depending on if he fit outside or inside.
"We have another grouping of people which we call dime which puts four corners on the field at times. We may go that package this week if we can just from the ability of a health status."
Extra: Hillary is listed as the "nickel cornerback" but expect him to be on the field as much as possible. Shelton, a true freshman, has made huge strides since the spring and will be a big part of the secondary. Ben Strickland feels that five corners are ready to play this fall.
Official - Safeties: Dezmen Southward, Nate Hammon
Michael Caputo, Leo Musso
Andersen: "Dez always has the opportunity to drop down and play corner. He's trained to be play outside and trained to play inside and trained to play in the post. But with Michael (Caputo) and Moose (Musso) and Dez, you know, safety positions, that's kind of taken a little bit away from Dez's time at the corner position, whether that be a nickel or dime or true outside corner. But he can do it if needed."
"Coach (Bill) Busch basically looked at Nate and Moose (Musso) were kind of the same deal. Played a lot of defense, did some things, ran through defense, watched them through spring and winter conditioning, when we have an opportunity to watch the kids, and we just needed to find some young men, number one, that were smart kids and, number two, could run fairly well at that spot. And that's definitely a prerequisite at safety to play the way we want to play. And there's been some talented kids that played back there last year that aren't in that back end which we know."
Extra: Caputo seized his opportunity this fall and will start against UMass. Southward is talented enough to play a number of spots and should give Dave Aranda plenty of options this season.
Official - Kicker: Kyle French, Jack Russell
Andersen: "Kyle will kick right now. Jack's had an injury for the last week. And so went back and forth and throughout camp. And so we'll see. Kyle has bounced back very well from the poor performance he had, which that's football, that's life, that's athletics.
"I'm proud of the way he's handled that. But Jack will get some opportunities if he's better and if he's ready. That's where it sits. The snaps and the holds have been good, mostly through camp, which is great to see."
Extra: French struggled this fall but Russell has been injured. This could be a position to watch as the season progresses.
Official - Punter: Drew Meyer, Stephen Salata
Extra: Meyer has performed well and will be the starter all year barring an injury.
Official - Returns: KR: Doe, Kyle Zuleger
PR: Abbrederis OR Doe, Fredrick
Andersen: "Yes, that keeps me up at night. It really truly does. And we have some young men that can go back there and catch the punts but it's such an important, important part. And James can go back there, Kenzel can go back there and Jared can go back there, and I feel it needs right now to be one of those guys. And Kenzel has done such a good job of just catching it, you watch him at practice, it's just so easy for him. And Abby (Abbrederis) has done such a great job of doing that. So you definitely want to protect hip, you want to be careful, but you just can't put balls on the ground in that situation."
Extra: Abbrederis is too much of a weapon to keep off the field in the return game. Doe showed flashes of big-play capability last season.