UW Football: Inside linebackers ‘try something new’


UWBadgers.com Senior Writer

Bob Bostad last coached at Wisconsin in 2011. It was his sixth season as an assistant, fourth in charge of the offensive line after coaching tight ends his first two years. He was billed as the run game coordinator on Bret Bielema's staff. Bostad, 50, a former college linebacker at UW-Stevens Point, has spent four of the last five seasons coaching the O-line in the NFL with Tampa Bay and Tennessee. With his return to Madison, he has taken over the inside linebackers from Justin Wilcox, now the head coach at California.

"He (Bostad) is an intense guy, he's going to tell you how it is," said Griffin Grady, a sophomore-to-be from Dublin, Ohio. "As a linebacker, you have no choice but to be that guy — lower your pads, tuck your chin in, and go fit the gap. It's kind of that Big Ten mindset. And I love it. You've got a guy (Bostad) who's going to make sure you do your job and that's only going to get good results. I'm happy he's our coach."

With the UW's top four inside linebackers limited or sidelined entirely for the spring — Edwards, Cichy, Orr and Connelly — Bostad has turned his focus to developing the more inexperienced players on the depth chart. Grady, for one, did travel and letter on special teams last season as a true freshman. "He runs well," Bostad said. "I saw some things in just watching film from last year that I really liked. I have no reason to believe that he can't be a really good player here in time. This is a great time for all of them to get better. This is a huge opportunity for them to get reps at both positions at (inside) linebacker."

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