Wisconsin will return to the field on Tuesday, kicking off its 2019 spring season. And after an 8-5 year last fall, head coach Paul Chryst believes the next month presents a great opportunity to get better.
Chryst and the Badgers were expected to be one of the top teams in college football a season ago and defend its B1G West crown. Instead, the Badgers finished 5-4 in the division and settled for a trip to the Pinstripe Bowl.
Now, Wisconsin enters the spring hoping to rise back to the top in 2019. Spring practice is just one piece of that puzzle.
“There’s four phases to get ready for the season,” Chryst said. “Just finished up our winter conditioning and thought we did a lot of good things there. Then spring ball is the second part of it. Then you’ve got summer and fall camp. It’s important to keep in mind for them that this is an opportunity — a great opportunity — to get better.”
Wisconsin will be dealing with some changes next season. The Badgers lost some key pieces on the offensive line as well as some excellent defenders. They’re also ushering in a new quarterback, as three-year starter Alex Hornibrook transferred to Florida State this offseason.
So, there will be some adjustments throughout the spring for a lot of inexperienced and new Badgers. But that’s what spring is for.
Chryst also acknowledged that not everyone will go through spring with the same mentality. Some of the veteran leaders will have a different approach than new starters and incoming freshmen.
“Every guy comes in different. J.T. [Jonathan Taylor] and A.J. Taylor and Chris Orr are a little bit different than three true freshman were are coming into their first spring ball,” Chryst said. “But we’re excited to get going on it.”
This will mark the fifth spring for Chryst sine taking over at Wisconsin in 2015. Last season was the first time the Badgers didn’t finish the year with at least 10 wins under his direction.