Badgers football: Tyler Biadasz prepared for starting role on Wisconsin’s offensive line
Less than three months removed from his first collegiate practice, Tyler Biadasz prepared to start a road game at Iowa for the University of Wisconsin last season.
Jon Dietzen remained questionable to play after missing four straight games, and Biadasz spent the bulk of the week taking first-team reps at center with Michael Deiter at left guard.
“I was probably one day away from playing,” Biadasz said Tuesday. “I was practicing with the ones up until that Thursday, and then Dietzen came back and was healthy enough to play, which saved my redshirt.”
It was a somewhat similar situation to the one Deiter was in when former UW coach Gary Andersen considered burning his redshirt in the 2014 Big Ten Championship game but ultimately opted not to.
Now, Deiter has moved from center to left tackle during fall camp to make way for Biadasz, who has impressed Badgers coaches since his arrival in Madison last summer and no longer has a redshirt to preserve.
“In spring football, we talked with the guys, and it’s not necessarily how you finish spring ball as far as where you’re at on the fictitious depth chart,” UW coach Paul Chryst said. “It’s, you earn the right to have a lot of reps in fall camp. I think Tyler’s a really good example of that. He’s done that. He’s earned the right. I’m excited, and I know (offensive coordinator and line coach Joe Rudolph’s) excited, to see him get a lot of reps and see where he’s at and how much he can help us this year.”
Deiter, one of the best linemen in the Big Ten, has never taken a snap at tackle in his career. but the Badgers gave him a test run at that spot over the final week of spring practice. It went better than expected, according to Deiter, and so the redshirt junior made the switch to begin fall camp to make way for Biadasz.
The goal for UW centered around fielding its best five linemen, and Biadasz appears to be one of them.
Biadasz said he learned a great deal both physically and mentally from Deiter, calling him his “go-to guy” during that first year on campus — watching film with Deiter and always picking his brain.
Rudolph said last week that Biadasz relishes the stress and responsibility of making the calls at center, and that’s a major reason why he now has the opportunity to start.
“I feel a lot more confidence in myself (than last year), and I feel a lot more confident with my calls and my communication,” Biadasz said. “I want to be able to make any call I can. I want the hardest situations. I want to be able to know what calls to make, and I want to be that guy that can make the right one in the most critical times.
“It’s an opportunity I’ve been wanting to get and an opportunity I’ve been chasing. To achieve my goal of starting, it’s really exciting for me.”
Hornibrook enjoys excellent day
Alex Hornibrook enjoyed perhaps his best day of camp Tuesday, completing 25-of-35 passes in all drills. Three of his 10 incompletions were drops.
Hornibrook threw six touchdowns during red-zone periods, four to tight end Troy Fumagalli, although he did throw an interception to outside linebacker Leon Jacobs on the goal line.
Inside linebacker T.J. Edwards snagged his second interception in three days when he picked off Kare Lyles during team drills.
Wide receiver Deron Harrell (left shoulder) and safety Scott Nelson (left leg) both missed their second straight practice Tuesday. Inside linebacker Griffin Grady was also out with an illness. … The players returning kickoffs during special teams drills Tuesday were George Rushing, Chris James, A.J. Taylor, Danny Davis, Jack Dunn, Kendric Pryor, Quintez Cephus and Rachid Ibrahim. Safety Natrell Jamerson, last year’s primary kick returner, was not part of that group. … The Badgers used a motorized tackling dummy during Tuesday’s kickoff drills, a new piece of equipment that is controlled by a member of UW’s staff.