MADISON, Wis. (AP) A redshirt freshman has claimed a starting job on Wisconsin’s offensive line.
Coach Paul Chryst said that Michael Dieter has emerged as the starter at right guard following the first week of training camp.
”Dieter as a young guy understands it quicker. He knows what he is preparing for. His standard is pretty high,” Chryst said Saturday after practice about the 6-foot-6 lineman.
But the unit overall is uncharacteristically unsettled in the preseason at a program known for traditionally having a bulldozing front five.
Dieter will join returning starters in left tackle Tyler Marz and center Dan Voltz.
Ray Ball, freshman Jon Dietzen and Walker Williams are competing at left guard. Biegel and redshirt freshman Beau Benzschawel are locked in a competition at right tackle.
Biegel, though, was day-to-day following a head injury during position drills on Friday. Benzschawel moved in with the No. 1 unit.
Otherwise, Chryst hasn’t encountered many surprises in his first preseason back with the Badgers as head coach. He likes the progress that the Badgers are making heading into a stretch of two-a-days as the team prepares for the season opener against in three weeks against Alabama.
”I’m pleased with the way they are working,” Chryst said. ”We just have to keep going and grinding away at it.”
Dare Ogunbowale and redshirt freshman Taiwan Deal have solidified their hold on the No. 2 and No. 3 running back slots, respectively, behind starter Corey Clement.
On defense, injuries to inside linebackers Leon Jacobs (toe) and T.J. Edwards (shoulder) for a second straight day have created opportunities for more reps for freshmen Alec Ingold and Chris Orr.
So far, Chryst has been impressed.
”I had a sense that Alec and Chris Orr, who weren’t with us (in the spring) were smart guys,” Chryst said. ”But overall my guess is there are fewer surprises than there used to be.”