MADISON, Wis. - Today, BadgerBlitz.com continues looking at the Wisconsin Badgers football team position-by-position heading into fall camp. The Badgers report to camp on Aug. 6.
In this edition of the fall preview series we feature the defensive line, a group heading into the 2006 season with high expectations. By the end of last season this unit was already being talked up as the strength of the Badgers this fall and that hype has continued throughout the summer months.
Aside from experience, the new addition to this line is coach Randall McCray, who has replaced well-respected D-line coach John Palermo. The talent has been handed to McCray and, from what's been observed already, it seems the first-year coach can handle motivating this group.
Not only is this D-line talented and experienced, but its depth is unmatched on the '06 roster. Bottom line: The Badgers' defensive front is going to be a load for opponents to handle.
Here is a look at the 2006 defensive line in alphabetical order.
Cascone redshirted last season and is looking for playing time during his second year on campus. The Badgers are stacked at defensive tackle and they certainly have plenty of bodies and experience in the two-deep which means Cascone might have to wait another year until it's his turn.
Chapman played most of last season as he started eight games at tackle. He's expected to return to the lineup again this fall. He recorded 27 tackles last season and led the team in QB hurries with six.
Cooper returns this season after sustaining a knee injury in the third game of last season against UNC. A starter last year, Cooper will again compete for time on the first line. His speed and athleticism is much-needed on the edge.
Garner was a last-minute pick-up this past recruiting cycle. He seems to be a big, athletic specimen in the mold of defensive ends such as Erasmus James, Jamal Cooper and Matthew Shaughnessy. He could also play tight end, but this project won't be needed this season.