MADISON – Cold weather may have forced the Wisconsin football team to move back inside the McClain Center on Tuesday, but the offense was still somewhat left out in the cold.
Still, there were some notable performances and some notable depth chart movement as the team enters its final full week of spring practice.
USC Transfer C.J. Williams worked out with the first team for the first time this spring. If sports are the ultimate meritocracy, Williams may never give that spot back to Chimere Dike, who stayed with the ones, but went over to the other side where Keontez Lewis had been getting reps.
The player of the day, and arguably the player of spring ball has been slot receiver Will Pauling. He hauled in a 35-yard Braedyn Locke pass, sliding along the left sideline in between defenders Hunter Wohler and Kamo’i Latu. Pauling appears to be locking up the starting slot receiver position every day that goes on.
Overall, though, this wasn’t Wisconsin’s finest day on offense.
There were several dropped passes, a few errant snaps, and some flat-out missed throws.
No one was immune; Dike had a drop, as did Skyler Bell, Quincy Burroughs, Angel Toombs, and Vinny Anthony.
Starting quarterback Tanner Mordecai, who has been as steady as you can imagine all spring, had an uncharacteristically shaky day, overthrowing Dike and Williams, and if not for a drop from Ricardo Hallman, would have thrown a pick-six intended for Dike.
Offensive coordinator Phil Longo appeared frustrated throughout the practice, evidenced by the entire unit running “gassers” (20-yard sprints) after the official workout ended.
On defense, Boston College transfer Jason Maitre appears entrenched as the No. 1 slot cornerback. He continues to break up Tanner Mordecai passes when the ball is thrown his way.
The player of the day on either side of the ball arguably was freshman early enrollee Jonas Duclona. Duclona is working with the second team but made a pair of stellar plays breaking up passes, including a full lay-out to bat away a sure long touchdown pass from Braedyn Locke to Keontez Lewis.
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