UW football: ESPN show paints bright picture of program

2011-10-21T04:30:00Z 2012-04-18T10:48:26Z UW football: ESPN show paints bright picture of programTom Mulhern | tmulhern@madison.com | 608-252-6169 | madison.com

University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema didn't have a chance to sit down at length with his players in the locker room following practice on Wednesday and watch the ESPN show "Depth Chart," which was filmed during the Badgers' preseason camp.

But Bielema heard plenty of positive remarks about the show.

Bielema said he caught about five minutes of the show with his players, then ran over to speak at the Mendota Gridiron Club booster event. About 190 fans were at that event and they had just watched the show.

"Everybody was saying great things, my phone was blowing up left and right, just about the positive side of it," Bielema said.

Whatever risks Bielema might have taken in allowing the ESPN cameras almost unfettered access were certainly justified with what should prove to be a great recruiting tool for the program.

The show centers on the quarterbacks, especially starter Russell Wilson and his introduction to the program after transferring from North Carolina State.

The ending of the show alone is worth recruiting gold for the Badgers.

It features Wilson, saying back when he was in high school, his dad told him Wisconsin was a great place to play college football. The late Harrison Wilson apparently was something of a Badgers fan.

After the opening win over UNLV, players greet their families inside the McClain Center. The final shot shows Wilson walking toward the door, under the giant "On Wisconsin" that is painted on the wall.

As he walks off the field, in a voiceover, Wilson says, "I don't see why more people don't think about coming here now."

Bielema was asked if he scripted the ending of the show.

"People have told me today what he said," Bielema said. "I didn't lead one kid (into what to say). It's just another example of that kid, what he thinks, what he believes and what he says."

GORDON MIGHT REDSHIRT: Bielema said freshman running back Melvin Gordon had a medical procedure to alleviate a goin problem, which will require him to be on crutches for three or four weeks.

Having played in only three games, Gordon is eligible for a medical waiver and almost certainly will get it, meaning he will have four years of eligibility remaining.

But Bielema said Gordon, who had an impressive preseason camp, still wants the option to play if he returns sooner than expected.

"He actually wants to play if he can come back sooner than they say," Bielema said. "It's kind of wait and see."

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