Football tour notebook: Fun takes from Wisconsin fall practice

Football tour notebook: Fun takes from Wisconsin fall practice

MADISON, Wis. — Paul Chryst took Wisconsin through a two-hour scrimmage under the lights in Camp Randall Stadium on Friday. The pads were popping. Here are some fun takes.

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Most impressive player: LB Leon Jacobs. The 6-2, 245-pound senior is a ripped athlete without any fat. He moves with frightening speed from sideline to sideline. Jacobs could be poised for an All-Big Ten season. Imagine if TJ Watt had not turned pro and Jack Cichy not gotten hurt? How good would this LB unit be?

Top specimen: TE Troy Fumagalli. The 6-6, 248-pound senior will be one of the nation’s top tight ends. He is one of several good Badger tight ends, being joined by Kyle Penniston and Zander Neuville, a former D-lineman and the best blocking TE on the squad. Penniston has nice hands and could break out this fall.

Loudest coach: No coach gets this honor. Guess since it wasn’t a practice, no assistant felt compelled to “get after it.”

Impressive newcomer: RB Jonathan Taylor. The 5-11, 214-pound true freshman is living up to the hype. He scored on a long TD run early in the scrimmage tonight. The New Jersey native broke Corey Clement’s prep records and was a two-time state 100-meter dash champ. I also like true frosh WR Danny Davis, a 6-0, 186-pound talent who will impact this fall.

On the rise: DE Isaiahh Loudermilk. The 6-7, 306-pound Loudermilk is a man-child who is poised for big things. The redshirt freshman played eight-man football in high school in Kansas. Now he looks poised for big career in Madison.

Nagging question: Will QB Alex Hornibrook stay healthy? That is a huge key, since the backup is true freshman Jack Coan, a 6-3, 202-pounder who is a good athlete and turned down a lacrosse scholarship to Notre Dame.

Under the radar: CB Nick Nelson. The 5-11, 208-pound junior is the real deal. He sat out last year as a transfer from Hawaii. Now, he may be the top corner in the Big Ten. Nelson also will run back punts. Wait until you get a load of this guy.

***

NOTES

Scouts from the Buccaneers and Jaguars were on hand.

The officials who worked the scrimmage also will work the upcoming Alabama-Florida State game.

Keep an eye on true freshman WR Cade Green, an Austin, Texas, kid may play this fall.

WR coach Ted Gilmore visited Joe Tiller this summer, as Tiller battled health issues. Gilmore worked for Tiller at Purdue.

A.D. Barry Alvarez watched some of tonight’s festivities.

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Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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