August 10, 2010

Notes: Costigan impresses early in camp

MADISON - Kyle Costigan wasn't offered a scholarship during his rather unique recruitment until very late in the process. Instead, he was offered a greyshirt until it became evident that Costigan was worthy of a full ride.

Now, as a true freshmen just getting his feet wet in the UW program, the Muskego (WI) native has proven his worth both in the weight room and throughout summer conditioning.

"Coach Ben Herbert will tell you that he's the strongest freshman to ever be in our program," UW head coachBret Bielema said. "He really moves pretty good and he will do anything you ask him to do.

"It's a great addition."

Initially, Costigan seemed to be a fit on the offensive line. But with the great amount of depth at that position, and the relative lack of depth on the defensive side of the line, Bielema decided to move Costigan.

"Against the wishes of my offensive line coach I moved him to defensive line at the beginning of the summer," Bielema said. "Just because we needed some bodies in there and I wanted to see what he would bring."

With fall camp underway, Costigan and his ever growing 275-pound body will be a player to keep an eye on as defensive line coach Charlie Partridge hopes to find a group of tackles to rotate inside.

An emerging corner?

Towards the end of spring camp redshirt sophomore Marcus Cromartie started making strides at the cornerback position. Though three players seem set to see regular playing time (Devin Smith, Niles Brinkley and Antonio Fenelus), it seems the fourth spot remains wide open.

And don't be surprised if Cromartie makes a strong push for that spot.

"He had a good spring game and a good second half of spring ball," Bielema said. "I was very impressed. He became a little bit more physical and a little bit more mature. Kind of like Shelton Johnson he's coming into his third year. Marcus has got a lot of tools. He's long, he's rangy and has long arms and he's athletic.

"It's going to be interesting because that fourth corner spot is wide open."

Safety depth

One of the biggest questions entering the 2010 season is how the UW secondary is going to perform. To take it one step further, how is the back end of the UW secondary going to perform?

With Aaron Henry and Jay Valai locked in as starting safeties, who will be their backups? It's a question Bielema would like to see answered throughout fall camp.

"I thought Shelton had a very good practice," Bielema said. "He's coming into third year in the program and you hope he move's forward. I'm very excited about Michael Trotter, a young man out of Marquette (High School). Unfortunately he had a setback with Mono for a couple of weeks there at the end of summer so he's coming in without as much conditioning experience.

"Then a guy like Adam Hampton, someone who's new to the scene."

Bielema also made mention of Dezmen Southward, a relatively raw prospect out of lauded St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida. It has been said that Southward has some of the best physical tools of anyone on the team. Now the UW coaches are seeing what he has at the safety spot.

"We're experimenting with Dez at safety as well."

Finding positions for a couple of freshmen

Like Jared Abbrederis a season ago, it seems as though walk-on Drew McAdams is going to be running some spread quarterback for the Badgers throughout the season.

As an athletic prospect, McAdams has experience at the quarterback position and he can offer some service in practice playing that role.

"He's running our scout team offense against the spread looks," Bielema said. "He will naturally run at the wide receiver position. He's in wide receiver meetings. It's exactly what Abbrederis did last year."

In addition to McAdams, both Manasseh Garner and Marquis Mason are playing with the wide receivers at this juncture in their career.

"They are guys that we thought potentially could be a big wide receiver or H-back," Bielema said. "We'll just kind of let them see where they develop."

Bracing themselves

All three top quarterbacks on the Badger roster-Scott Tolzien, Curt Phillips and Jon Budmayr-are wearing knee braces on their plant leg.

For Phillips, the reason is obvious as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered just a few months ago. But for the other two, it seems to be a precautionary measure.

"They're wearing it on the leg where it's vulnerable for somebody to fall into," Bielema said. "It's something Paul Chryst had done at Oregon State and the players saw it when they were watching Oregon State film. All those guys got them on their front leg."

The Badgers return for day two of fall camp later Tuesday afternoon

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