- Welcome to the 2017 Badger football season. Fans were able to get their first glimpse into the new year under the lights at Camp Randall during the spring game. Head Coach Paul Chryst thought the spring season was a good one for the team.
"This team started to find itself, whether it be leadership, new roles that guys have played a lot to take on, so overall I think it was a good second phase," said Chryst.
Chris James was one of those players who started to find himself during the off-season. After having to redshirt last season because of transfer rules, the Pittsburgh transfer enjoyed his spring season.
"I had the same approach every day, just try to get one percent better. I think I did that and I really tried to focus on the mental side of the game, rather than the physical side," said James.
Alex Hornibrook was named the starting quarterback on March 13th. The redshirt sophomore knew he'd have to step up in his new role.
"A big thing for me was just kind of applying what I was working on in the off season. Be it the offense, the reads, pocket movements, and I saw some improvements there. I felt a lot different on the field so I think it was a success for spring," said Hornibrook.
Right behind Hornibrook are Jack Coan and Kare Lyles. Coan is an early enrollee from New York who originally was going to play lacrosse in college. But now he's excited to be a Badger.
"It was definitely a good experience for me to get under the lights at Camp Randall. It was obviously amazing and I made a lot of mistakes but it's a good learning experience so I'm really happy with the outcome," said Coan.
But Hornibrook wasn't giving away any hints as to who will be his backup.
"I think they both did some good things in the spring. I think they're both competing. I couldn't tell you who was doing better but they were both improving every day," said Hornibrook.
Both Coan and Lyles got playing time Friday night. Coan made a mistake when he threw an interception during the scrimmage.
"With Jack, if you're going to throw the ball away, you have to make sure it gets all the way out of bounds. That one bothered him which means I think he's going to learn from that and so I thought both, it was really good for them," said Chryst.
Chryst was right. Coan recognized his mistake and knows there's still plenty of skills to work on.
"Everything. I think I could improve on every aspect of my game. My foot works, my reads, getting to know the play book better," said Coan.
Next up for the Badgers is a little break before summer workouts start right after Memorial Day.
The Badgers will open their season at home against Utah State on September 1st.
|Story By: Katie Leszcynski