Moral was high Tuesday morning at the McClain Center as the Wisconsin football team lined up for practice at 8 a.m. sharp. Warming up and performing drills, the Badgers are preparing for the upcoming spring game approaching in a couple of weeks.
Once the team finished their warm up, they split into different groups over the field to focus on their positions. Kickers set out to hone their craft with the aide of automated ball machines, the offensive lineman paired off to perform tackling drills with dummies, and receivers looked to improve their skills in pass and catch drills.
Later in the practice, special teams lined up in the center of the field to practice kickoffs and kick returns. Last season, the Badgers fell in the middle of the pack when it came to special teams. Of 129 ranked FBS teams, Wisconsin placed 48th in punt return yardage and 68th in punt return defense, which is interesting as special teams are generally a strong suit of the Wisconsin football brand.
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Then, the starters and backup teams began a light scrimmage. Sophomore receiver A.J. Taylor had several amazing collaborations with redshirt sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook.
Taylor dominated the majority of the plays as he completed passes from Hornibrook and escaped from defenders with ease as he sprinted into the end zone. Last season the versatile receiver and return-man played in all 14 games, starting three. He managed 31 receptions for 475 yards and collected five touchdowns
Running back Jonathan Taylor, who was named the Thompson-Randle El Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season, looked like the same player Badger fans came to love in his first year in the cardinal and white, effortlessly avoiding defenders and bolting down field with blazing speed.
After speaking with a few of the players after practice, they all mentioned that they are looking forward to the upcoming season and are excited to preview the new team as a unit during the Spring game. Clearly, the team has high hopes and the Badger Nation is anxious to see this team in action during the fall.
The game will be hosted at the one and only Camp Randall Stadium on April 13. Tickets will be $5, with proceeds benefiting the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.