August 2, 2006

Fall camp preview: Offensive line

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 offensive line, a group looking to replace three departed seniors in guards Matt Lawrence and Jason Palermo and center Donovan Raiola, not to mention the departure of offensive line coach Jim Hueber, who is now with the Minnesota Vikings.

The new man in charge of the O-line is Bob Palcic, who coached in Madison earlier in his career and has years of experience coaching in the NFL. The offensive line has a bright future with Palcic in charge coupled with the young talent the Badgers have waiting in the stable.

Here is a look at the offensive line depth.

PROJECTED FIRST LINE …

  • LT Joe Thomas (6-foot-8, 313-pound Senior)

    Thomas is arguably the nation's top offensive tackle and he is projected to be among the top three picks in next April's NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. Fans of the Badgers know how important Thomas is to the team and his presence is even more important this season as he and quarterback John Stocco will be called on to lead an offense built of mostly unproven talent.

    Thomas sustained a knee injury playing on the defensive line in last season's victory in the Capital One Bowl, but all reports point to him being ready for the start of training camp.

  • LG Andy Kemp (6-foot-6, 316-pound Sophomore)

    Kemp saw his only game action in a win at home over Temple last season. That means he enters the 2006 training camp with very little experience. However, Kemp has been on campus longer than any of his 2005 classmates as he enrolled early, giving him two spring practice seasons under his belt. Kemp must use the lessons he's learned during his time on campus because he's needed as a starter.

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