Spring practices are now done for the Wisconsin Badgers. The next time we see this team put the pads on will be fall camp in preparation for the 2023 season. It won’t be too long before Wisconsin opens up the 2023 season against Buffalo on September 2. A ton of players stood out at times during the spring season as the Badgers began the Luke Fickell era. Here are my three takeaways from the spring practices.
The Badgers Have A Clear Q1 And Q2
The quarterback room become loaded after Graham Mertz, the starter over the last three season, entered the transfer portal. Mertz is now at Florida battling for the starting job there. Wisconsin added SMU transfer Tanner Mordecai, Mississippi State transfer Brayden Locke, and Oklahoma transfer Nick Evers.
Throughout the spring, Mordecai received all the first team reps. This is not a surprise as this will be his sixth year of college football. Evers and Locke are redshirt freshmen. It’s clear barring injury Tanner Mordecai will be the starting quarterback.
The competition between Locke and Evers was going to be a battle originally. It’s still early, but Locke was the backup all spring and it didn’t seem close. Evers has arguably the highest upside, but doesn’t have the air raid offense experience Locke got last season at Mississippi State.
The Wide Receiver Room Did Not Disappoint
One of the biggest stories surrounding this team was the receiver room. The Badgers added a ton of talented receivers headlined by USC transfer C.J. Williams. Will Pauling, a transfer, had a strong spring and solidified himself in the rotation. Offensive Coordinator Phil Longo wants six receivers and Pauling should be on of them.
Not included was current receivers Chimere Dike, Keontez Lewis, and Skyler Bell, who were on the team last season. All three had good moments as well and should be a part of the rotation too. The first group feels like Dike, Williams, and Will Pauling. Bell, Lewis, and Bryson Green (when he returns for fall camp after missing the spring) feels like the second unit headed into fall camp.
Don’t Sleep On The Secondary
The secondary was a question mark after losing a lot of players. We knew Ricardo Hallman would be a key contributor as would Hunter Wohler and Kamo’i Latu. Alexander Smith coming back for another season helped as well.
Cincinnati transfer Jason Maitre had a good spring and was all over the field. I see Maitre as the starting nickel corner. You could make the argument based on the last handful of practices that Ricardo Hallman was one of the best defensive players. He was a turnover machine.
I would not sleep on this secondary under first year defensive coordinator Mike Tressel. I think this unit has a chance to be one of the best in the Big Ten yet again.
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