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Badgers football notebook: Wisconsin’s Michael Deiter takes reps at left tackle

April 19, 2017 GMT

University of Wisconsin redshirt junior Michael Deiter took reps at left tackle during Tuesday’s practice while David Edwards, the starter at that position, sat out with a minor ankle injury.

Deiter, arguably the best and most experienced offensive lineman on the Badgers’ roster, has started a number of games at both center and left guard over the past two years but hasn’t played tackle.

And while the reason for Deiter’s reps Tuesday were Edwards’ absence, Deiter said playing left tackle this season remains a real possibility.

“It’s definitely possible for me to play left tackle this fall,” Deiter said. “When you think about it, we have (Jon) Dietzen and Micah (Kapoi) who can play left guard. (Tyler) Biadasz is doing a heck of a job at center. And (Edwards) could always play right tackle. That’s where he started all his games last year.

“With this experiment, it gives us depth at more positions, I would say, and it really is an option for the fall. It’s just kind of seeing how it works.”

Biadasz could be the man who moves Deiter outside, if it happens. The redshirt freshman plays Deiter’s main position of center and has impressed the coaching staff since he arrived on campus last year.

Deiter said the coaching staff was actually close to burning Biadasz’s redshirt in a couple games last season, and the Badgers feel totally confident in his ability to play right now. Continued progress for Biadasz may shift the possibilities for UW’s best five-man unit, and it may include shifting Deiter out to guard or tackle.

The Badgers have more depth on the interior of their line than at the tackle position, and Deiter’s versatility will give them a number of options heading out of spring and into fall camp.

“Obviously, there’s some stuff I need to work on, techniques that I need to be better with, but for it being my first day at tackle, I felt more comfortable than I expected, for sure,” Deiter said. “It really all starts to sort itself out during camp. I’d say by the second week of camp, you can get a feel for the five you want to try to get out there. And that’s why it’s kind of fun to see what combinations work best. Because we have guys who are so versatile because they’ve had to play different positions, we can do that.”

[OLs Kasl, Biadasz and Van Lanen have impressed coaches]

Tindal takes WR reps

UW cornerback Derrick Tindal took a couple team reps at wide receiver during Tuesday’s practice and received a handoff on a jet sweep play.

Tindal dabbled at the position last offseason during one-on-one drills, but wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore said it was only due to a lack of healthy bodies.

The Badgers aren’t short on numbers this year, and Tindal’s reps came during 11-on-11 team drills.

“Sometimes I’ll meet with Coach Chryst about it, but most of it is they’re telling me to play here and then I do it,” Tindal said. “There haven’t been too much meetings. We’ll probably get to more of that in the fall. But who knows? Maybe we might do it, maybe we don’t.

“It’d be fun. It’s all football to me. Either side of the ball. I just want to be in the best position to help our team win. If that’s me taking a route or just being at DB. Whatever it takes. … Just got to wait and see what happens.”

[Bigger roles await WRs Quintez Cephus and A.J. Taylor]

Extra points

Wide receiver Quintez Cephus did not practice Tuesday after leaving Friday’s scrimmage with an injury. … Fullback Aaron Maternowski returned Tuesday after a lengthy absence, while wide receiver Deron Harrell also practiced after sitting out Friday. … Outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel recorded his second pick-six of the spring after batting a Kare Lyles pass into the air. … Cornerback Nick Nelson intercepted Alex Hornibrook twice Tuesday, although Hornibrook did complete 36-of-50 passes (72 percent) on the day.