MADISON, Wis. -- Football starts up again, for a limited time anyways, for the Wisconsin Badgers in just under two weeks.
After modifying the start of their 15 allotted spring practices to March 22, head coach Paul Chryst met with the media inside the McClain Center on Monday morning.
AllBadgers.com highlighted Chryst's thoughts on the quarterbacks and wide receivers on Monday afternoon. Here is more from the head coach during that session with reporters regarding leadership, UW's offensive line and outside linebackers.
*Who Chryst thinks can step up into leadership roles with Chris Orr and Zack Baun gone:
"We've got guys who have played a lot. We've got some d-lineman in Garrett Rand and Isaiahh (Loudermilk) have played. (Linebacker) Jack Sanborn had a ton of snaps last year, right? And yet I think that's what is important about winter conditioning, it starts a little bit. Spring ball you get more, but the leadership, the new leadership ... we'll have some that lead in a different way probably. Garrett Groshek and Jack (Coan), they were kind of voted upon as captains, for lack of a better term last year, but they're gonna have to lead a little bit differently this year. Guys will emerge, and we've got a number of guys that they can be that. Eric Burrell's a senior safety that's played a lot of football. Now (he) won't be going to spring ball, so that's a little bit, I think you have to be in it with them. He can impact and lead, but it's different till you get going playing with them. But I'm anxious to see who kind of emerges as genuine leaders of this team."
*On the offensive line and if anyone's stepped up during winter time that's earned opportunities:
"I think a number of them had a really good winter. I think they were going to get the opportunities anyways, and Joe's done a good job. They're all going to work and that's one that, if you are trying to keep score at home, that o-line's going to shuffle during the spring. They'll all get opportunities, but I don't know if anyone that you weren't thinking about emerged from nowhere on it.
"It is a group, a lot of them has good experience, and you try to find the best five, right?"
*On outside linebacker and who he sees filling Zack Baun's kind of role or how many guys might fill it?
"Noah Burks did a nice job playing, and he's a senior, but kind of an inexperienced senior, right? Didn't play a ton, and we've been fortunate. We've had a ton of production there, and so I think that's a big part of spring is kind of how will that shake out. Izayah Green-May started the season last year as a starter, and then Noah kind of ended up beating him out. We've got some good young talent in that group, but it's who's going to emerge? A lot of it is not only can you do something, but can you do it consistently? I think that's what this spring will tell is then who is that group going to be, because that has been a productive position for us, and I think in this defense needs to be. But I don't know right now today that I can sit there and say here's the next guy, but we got to get some production out of that group."
*Does Chryst foresee safety Scott Nelson being healthy for the start of the season?
"For the season? Absolutely. And really, most every one of them will have a real healthy summer, but it's just not getting the spring ball."
*On if transfer punter Andy Vujnovich will be eligible immediately as he's on the spring roster:
"Still working through that, I think."