UW football: Freshman contributors could include surprises

2011-08-16T04:30:00Z 2012-05-23T17:53:38Z UW football: Freshman contributors could include surprisesTom Mulhern | tmulhern@madison.com | 608-252-6169 madison.com

The University of Wisconsin football coaches held a personnel meeting on Sunday and talked about which true freshmen could play this season.

It's no surprise UW coach Bret Bielema said tailback Melvin Gordon "more than likely" will be one of them.

Tight end Sam Arneson, who has been working as the backup "Y" to senior Jake Byrne, is another freshman who could get his chance.

Of the three freshman linebackers who have been working together at times, Derek Landisch from Hartland Arrowhead was probably the least-heralded, compared to Jacob Keefer and Derek Watt. But Landisch has the best chance to play of the three.

Then there were a couple surprises. Safety Michael Caputo and cornerback Darius Hillary have only gotten limited work in the two-deep, but both could contribute, probably on special teams.

Freshman cornerback Terrance Floyd made several nice plays on the scout team on Monday night, catching Bielema's eye and thrusting his name into the conversation.

"Terrance Floyd had a great day down here in scout," Bielema said. "He can definitely cover people."

Another long shot was wide receiver Fred Willis from tiny Brookfield Academy in Milwaukee. Willis didn't seem to have much of a chance after suffering a dislocated thumb last week.

But Bielema was impressed with the way Willis bounced back from the injury, then the freshman also made a big play in the night practice, splitting the defense and catching a long pass from freshman Joel Stave.

"Here's a kid who got up from a drill and a bone is sticking out of his hand," Bielema said. "He didn't flinch an inch, champing at the bit to get back out here (Monday)."


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