Fenelus has solid practice

first_imgRedshirt junior defensive lineman Patrick Butrym and the rest of the Badgers have impressed onlookers thus far in spring practices.[/media-credit]It was only the sixth practice of spring football, so it would be wise to take anything observed in March with a grain of salt. But if Antonio Fenelus is as good in six months as he was yesterday, he could find himself starting for Wisconsin as cornerback in the fall.The junior from Boca Raton, Fla. made himself quite visible during Monday’s outdoor practice at Camp Randall. He had a leaping interception on a ball thrown by senior Scott Tolzien during 11-on-11 scrimmage drills near the end of practice and broke up what would have been a long touchdown pass to senior David Gilreath earlier.Fenelus got plenty of praise from the coaches throughout practice and looked quick in coverage. He also largely had his way in one-on-one drills where the receivers were practicing their blocking. Fenelus notably threw fifth-year senior Isaac Anderson to the ground during the drill, much to the chagrin of the rest of UW’s receiving corps. Outside of junior Nick Toon, the Badgers’ wideouts struggled in blocking drills, with the 5-foot-10, 169 lb. Gilreath getting pushed around a fair amount.Brown and Ewing look strongFenelus wasn’t the only Floridian to have a good practice Monday. Senior running back Zach Brown got most of the carries with the first-team offense with 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year John Clay sitting out all of spring ball to save his injury-prone ankles.Brown was able to make the most of the holes he could find, breaking a few long runs. In addition, Brown also caught a number of balls down the field out of the backfield. The highlight was a weak-side run where he got about 20 yards along the right sideline.Brown’s biggest highlight came during third down situational drills, with the first-team offense going against the first-team defense. The Royal Palm, Fla. native found an opening to the right and made an ankle-breaking cut on senior linebacker Blake Sorensen before sprinting further into the secondary, amid a chorus of cheers from the sidelines.UW head coach Bret Bielema made it a point multiple times to go over and praise Brown after running plays.Junior back Bradie Ewing got a fair share of carries as well, picking up some hard-fought yards up the middle during team drills. Ewing looked good as a lead blocker as well, paving the way for some of Brown’s better runs.Hands teamThe good news for the receiving corps Monday was although it struggled in blocking drills, the Badgers’ wideouts looked good catching the ball.Gilreath, a native of Plymouth, Minn., had two one-handed catches on the day. One came during team drills, where he was streaking toward the back of the end zone and bobbled the pass a bit with one hand before pulling it in.Brown and Ewing matched their efforts running the ball with equally impressive work catching it. Both backs looked confident on screens and dump passes and should give the Badgers some quality options in third down situations.Perhaps the nicest passing play of the day came in team drills, where there was a familiar Tolzien-Toon hookup. Tolzien found Toon up the left side on a play-action pass for around 25 yards or so.Phillips still out, Budmayr takes advantageAfter injuring his knee during last Saturday’s scrimmage practice, backup quarterback Curt Phillips didn’t participate in practice Monday.With Phillips out, redshirt freshman Jon Budmayr got a lot of reps with the first and second team offenses. The Woodstock, Ill. native got the chance to take a lot of snaps in team drills where the offense tried to drive the ball down the field.Budmayr’s release looked good, though he looked better Monday on short passes than on long balls.last_img

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