Badgers look to underclassmen, transfers for contributions - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Badgers look to underclassmen, transfers for contributions

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Wisconsin Cornerback Nick Nelson at practice Wisconsin Cornerback Nick Nelson at practice
Wisconsin Junior Cornerback Nick Nelson Wisconsin Junior Cornerback Nick Nelson
Wisconsin Sophomore Wide Receiver Quintez Cephus Wisconsin Sophomore Wide Receiver Quintez Cephus
Wisconsin Junior Running Back Chris James Wisconsin Junior Running Back Chris James

Madison (WQOW) -- The Badgers now find themselves under a month away from starting the college football season, and a number of new faces are trying to make their mark on the roster.

One player that can't wait for the opener on September 1st is Nick Nelson. The Junior Cornerback sat out all of last season after transferring from Hawaii. Nelson played against some Big Ten programs while at Hawaii, so he's confident he can perform against stiffer competition.

"That's really the reason I went to Hawaii because I looked at the schedule. We played Ohio State. I seen Michigan. I knew I could play with anybody," says Nelson, "I can't wait. I'm ready, but at the same time I'm still taking it day-by-day. I'm still trying to get better. I'm still trying to get better on certain things so I can out there and have a great game."

Nelson is currently tabbed as the starter alongside Senior Derrick Tindal. 

The offense, meanwhile, is still trying to find improvement from the wide receiver corp. All but one player from last year's group returns, and that includes Sophomore Quintez Cephus, who started 5 games as a True Freshman, and is looking to contribute more this season.

"Just trying to lead by example. We have two seniors. I don't want to go beyond and try to step on their toes," Cephus explains, "But also lead by about how I go about my business because I can't say anything or try to help the other guys if I'm not making it happen."

Cephus caught 4 balls for 94 yards last year.

One of the new faces looking to make a big impact is Chris James. The Junior Running Back transferred in from Pittsburgh, which forced him to sit out last season. He's got some big shoes to help fill - Wisconsin lost Seniors Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale to graduation, which leaves James and Bradrick Shaw to compete for the starting job.

"He's going to make a play. You're going to make a play. So, it's like, 'Who wants to make a play?' That's what I love to have that pressure because it's like in your mind, 'Oh. I have to make a play now.' That's the way I kind of see it," says James, "It's just a chance to show what I can do and really the competition is just showing the coaches what we can do so that they can put us in the right positions. It's really about just buying in and doing whatever the coaches need us to do."

The ground game accounted for 31 of the team's 45 touchdowns last season. Fall Camp continues through August 23rd.

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