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Wisconsin football: spring roster reveal and Paul Chryst press conference recap

A look at the major takeaways from the initial spring roster and Paul Chryst's opening press conference.

Each spring, the Wisconsin Badgers football team drops their spring roster, and there are a couple of notable additions, subtractions, position changes, and surprise roster adjustments.

This spring is no different.

On Monday afternoon, head coach Paul Chryst spoke for over 40 minutes to local media and shared the spring roster.

Here is a rundown of what stands out on the roster and what Paul Chryst had to say about his team as they head into spring practice.

Position switches

  • Spencer Lytle has shifted from outside linebacker to inside linebacker.
    • Moving Lytle is logical considering the number of talented players the Badgers have at outside linebacker and Lytle's ability to move well in space. Now a junior, I would imagine that this is a move done to get Lytle on the field more and puts him in a position to earn a starting spot.
  • Riley Nowakowski is now officially listed as a fullback.
    • Nowakowski began his career as an outside linebacker but did practice at fullback last year after Quan Easterling left via transfer. The walk-on from Milwaukee is the frontrunner to win the starting fullback job.
  • Garrison Solliday is also now at fullback after playing inside linebacker in 2021.
    • Another walk-on prospect, Solliday will battle with Nowakowski for reps at fullback this spring.
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Status updates

  • Ayo Adebogun is not listed on Wisconsin's roster. The former three-star prospect from inside the state, was a scholarship outside linebacker last season.
  • Chryst mentioned that running backs Chez Mellusi, Isaac Guerendo, and Brady Schipper would not be available this spring.

Coaching roles

This off-season, Chryst reshuffled his coaching staff in a way that he hadn't done before. One of the main adjustments included shifting former tight ends coach Mickey Turner to head the recruiting department and for the Badgers to overhaul their strategy to special teams. Wisconsin will no longer have one coach dedicated to special teams. Instead, the team will deploy a by-committee approach.

Here is a breakdown of which coaches will oversee each position group:

  • Head Coach: Paul Chryst (unchanged)
  • Quarterbacks/OC: Bobby Engram (previously with the Baltimore Ravens)
  • Running backs: Al Johnson (previously head coach at East Central University)
  • Wide receivers: Alvis Whitted (unchanged)
  • Tight ends: Chris Haering (formerly the special team's coordinator)
  • Offensive line: Bob Bostad (the inside linebackers coach last year)
  • Safeties/DC: Jim Leonhard (unchanged)
  • Defensive line: Ross Kolodziej (unchanged)
  • Inside linebackers: Bill Sheridan (was with Air Force last season)
  • Outside linebackers: Bobby April (unchanged)
  • Cornerbacks: Hank Poteat (unchanged)

Two new analysts also joined the team this off-season.

  • Michael Caputo: defensive analyst
    • A former Wisconsin player, Caputo brings experience to the defensive staff. He began his coaching career under Dave Aranda as a graduate assistant at LSU, spent a year as the safeties coach at Utah State in 2019, and spent last year as a quality control coach at Baylor the past two years.
  • Jack Cichy: offensive analyst
    • Another former Badger, Cichy will help out with the offense after recently retiring from the NFL. As a former linebacker, it will be interesting to see which position groups he is involved with.