WR Davis had impact, but not a big one, in return to Badgers

Linebacker Jack Sanborn became the seventh “true” freshman to play for Wisconsin this season. In the Paul Chryst era, that’s a record, surpassing the six who suited up in 2016.

Of the seven, only four have played in all three Badgers games. Remember, starting this season players can retain redshirt eligibility if they appear in four or fewer games. That’s something to keep an eye on, which of course we’ll do every week here in the tracker.

Another who played in his first game of 2018 was wide receiver Danny Davis, who was suspended for the first two games.

Davis emerged as a big-play threat for Wisconsin as a “true” freshman last season, catching 26 passes for 418 yards (16.08 average) with five touchdowns, including three in UW’s Orange Bowl win over Miami.

Of Davis’ 26 receptions, six went for 25+ yards and 10 for 15+ yards, with 20 of his catches resulting in a first down. He made 18 of his receptions in Wisconsin’s final five games.

Thus it was expected Davis would play a big part of the Badgers’ offense in 2018. But how soon? After missing the first two games, perhaps he’d be eased in. Nope.

Wisconsin’s first play from scrimmage was a deep pass to Davis — which he dropped. It set the tone for the day, not just for Davis but for the Badgers, who lost at home to unranked BYU.

Including plays nullified by penalties, Davis was targeted seven times — tied for the most on the team. But he’d finish with four catches for just 40 yards, with a long reception of 18 yards.

Wisconsin certainly looked for Davis to have an impact, and he did, as evidenced by the number of times Alex Hornibrook threw to the receiver, just on a small scale. At least for this game.

Here’s the complete rundown of the young Badgers after the first three games:

“TRUE” FRESHMEN

Travian Blaylock, CB
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Donte Burton, CB
Western Kentucky: 1 tackle (solo)
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play

 

Aron Cruickshank, WR
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: 1 rush, 11 yards; 2 kick returns, 32 yards
BYU: 4 kick returns, 84 yards

 

Taj Mustapha, WR
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: 1 catch, 3 yards, TD
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Jack Sanborn, ILB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: 1 tackle

 

Bryson Williams, NT
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: 1 tackle

 

Rachad Wildgoose, CB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: 2 tackles (2 solo)
BYU: Did not play
Have not played
A.J. Abbott, WR; Nate Carter, QB; John Chenal, FB; Boyd Dietzen, DE; Jack Eschenbach, TE; Jaylan Franklin, OLB; Michael Furtney, OL; C.J. Goetz, DE; Mike Gregoire, WR; Isaac Guerendo, WR; Jacob Heyroth, ILB; Andrew Lyons, OL; Isaiah Mullens, DE; Reggie Pearson, S; Mason Platter, OLB; Cormac Sampson, TE; Brady Schipper, WR; Conor Schlichting, P; Alexander Smith, CB; Marty Strey, OLB; Jack Torchio, S; Nakia Watson, RB; Chase Wolf, QB

 

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN

 

Tyler Beach, OL
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Logan Bruss, OL
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Jake Ferguson, TE
Western Kentucky: 4 catches, 43 yards
New Mexico: 1 catch, 4 yards
BYU: 3 catches, 61 yards

 

Izayah Green-May, OLB
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Deron Harrell, CB
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Matt Hennigsen, DE
Western Kentucky: Started, 4 tackles (1 solo)
New Mexico: Started, 2 tackles (1 solo), TFL
BYU: 2 tackles, QBH

 

Faion Hicks, CB
Western Kentucky: Started, 3 tackles (2 solo), INT
New Mexico: Started, 1 tackle, PBU
BYU: Started, 5 tackles (3 solo), PBU

 

Kayden Lyles, DL
Western Kentucky: Started, 2 tackles (2 solo)
New Mexico: Started, 2 tackles (1 solo), FR
BYU: Started, did not record a statistic

 

Scott Nelson, S
Western Kentucky: Started, 7 tackles (5 solo), 2 PBU
New Mexico: Started, 4 tackles (2 solo), INT
BYU: Started, 5 tackles (1 solo) 1.5 TFL, PBU

 

Josh Seltzner, OL
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play

 

Danny Vanden Boom, QB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: 1-for-1 passing, 3 yards, TD
BYU: Did not play

 

Aaron Vopal, OL
Western Kentucky: 1 tackle (solo)
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play


Have not played
Michael Balistreri, DE; Ethan Cesarz, ILB; Jake Collinsworth, FB; Alex Fenton, OL; Cade Green, WR; Hunter Johnson, RB; Collin Larsh, K; Tyler Mais, S; Emmet Perry, WR; Coy Wanner, TE

Out for season
Blake Smithback, OL

 

“TRUE” SOPHOMORES

 

Adam Bay, LS
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic

 

Madison Cone, CB
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: 1 tackle (solo), INT, PBU
BYU: 3 tackles (solo)

 

Danny Davis III, WR
Western Kentucky: Did not play (suspended)
New Mexico: Did not play (suspended)
BYU: 4 catches, 40 yards

 

Jonathan Taylor, RB
Western Kentucky: Started, 18 rush, 145 yards, 2 TD
New Mexico: Started, 33 rush, 253 yards, 3 TD
BYU: Started, 26 rush, 117 yards; 3 catches, 14 yards

 

Have not played
Jack Coan, QB

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns

 

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