With spring practice now over halfway done, the Wisconsin football team is looking forward to its spring game on April 28, and, to this point, head coach Bret Bielema likes the way his team is shaping up.
Last Saturday the Badgers took part in a full-contact scrimmage inside Camp Randall Stadium. Though many projected starters—such as senior running back Montee Ball—didn’t take part in the scrimmage, Bielema was pleased with how his team looked.
“The part Saturday that jumped out to me…there were possibly six starters that weren’t in the line-up Saturday,” Bielema said. “There were a lot of key players that weren’t out there and for us to have as much success as we did, I was pretty happy.”
Even without Ball taking part, Wisconsin’s running backs were the stars of last Saturday’s scrimmage as both junior James White and redshirt freshman Melvin Gordon both exploded for some long runs on the day.
Bielema said that the plan is to use all three running backs this season.
“Ever since I’ve been here we’ve used three backs every year,” Bielema said. “We’ve had to have three backs every season since I’ve been here.”
Evidenced by his performance in Saturday’s scrimmage, White is one of the team’s most explosive players and Bielema is working on ways to get him on the field as much as possible next season.
“James doesn’t need a lot of room,” Bielema said. “We’ve got some things designed to get him and Montee on the field at the same time.”
Gordon’s name may not be as familiar to Badger fans as Ball’s or White’s. Gordon appeared in three games last season for Wisconsin, rushing for 98 yards on 20 attempts and finding the end zone once.
Gordon was a four-star recruit coming out of Kenosha Bradford High School after rushing for 2,009 yards and 38 touchdowns in his senior season and Bielema said he’s been impressed with Gordon this spring.
“He’s very, very gifted athletically,” Bielema said.