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Badgers football: Senior Bowl Day 1 recap

Jan 20, 2014 -- 11:49pm
Former UW linebacker Chris Borland gets measured on the first day of the Senior Bowl.
MADISON - The Senior Bowl practices got underway on Monday in Mobile, Ala., and it should come as no surprise that former University of Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland made an impact.
Here are a collection of his first-day impressions:
Borland’s performance was similarly impactful on Monday, as he was constantly in on tackles and around the ball. He collected a fumble recovery and an interception, and in general looked good in coverage. Borland may not be the biggest (5-11, 245) or the fastest or the strongest, but in watching him play a few games this season and in watching him practice on Monday, it’s clear the Wisconsin linebacker is an instinctual and natural defender.
Adam Hoge,
Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland said the biggest knock on him that he’s heard is that he’s not athletic enough. Apparently those people didn’t see him leap over a player to block a punt in 2009. Size might be a concern with Borland, but it’s not height. I’ll say this more than once with him over the next few months: trust the tape, not his measurables. The kid can play.
Tony Pauline,
Borland is another size-deficient prospect who stepped up big today. The Wisconsin product showed a complete game, making several nice plays defending the run as well as covering the pass. Borland plays smart, tough football and rarely makes mental mistakes. The fact he measured just 5-11 ½ today will relegate him to the draft's second day yet Borland exceeded expectations during the first Senior Bowl practice.
Another Badgers’ prospect, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, also turned some heads on the first day of practice.
Dane Brugler,
Speaking of the wide receivers, I really like the group on the North team. The South squad might have the only senior wideout who ends up being drafted in the top-50 picks (Jordan Matthews), but the mid-round talent at receiver on the North is above average. Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis, Wyoming WR Robert Herron and Oregon WR Josh Huff all looked good on Monday before, after and during the catch. All three have a legitimate chance to be drafted in the top-100 and Monday reminded everyone why.
As Wisconsin fans would expect, Jared Abbrederis was the most consistent and polished of all the North wide receivers. He took the ball away from Wyoming cornerback Marqueston Huff on a deep pass along the sideline.
Lance Zierlein,
Didn’t win the weigh in, weighing in at only 189 pounds, BUT when the former Badger got on the field, he lit up the North team defensive backs.  He caught everything, got open against everyone he faced.  Everyone.  He’s fast.  He’s going to be a star this week as long the North QBs get him the ball.
Running back James White was also mentioned several places for his first day of work.
In what was a late start to practice because of the turnaround, it was difficult to get a great read on the running backs on day one. However, both Charles Sims of West Virginia and James White of Wisconsin showcased controlled steps and the plant and drive steps upfield that scouts expected of these two runners.
Lance Zierlein,
Won’t get a ton of acclaim but I liked what he showed on Monday.  He doesn’t have great outside burst as the North defense tracked him easily on a bounce run late in practice.  But, he ran inside a couple of times that caught my attention.  He’ll be worth watching the rest of the week for certain.
Tight end Jacob Pedersen and safety Dezmen Southward are also taking part in the Senior Bowl this week.

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