Notes: Back in a Flash

Luke Swan (Badger Nation file)

A lot of press was given to Wisconsin's three new assistant coaches but the Badgers received a big benefit to their young receivers when former Wisconsin walk-on Luke Swan decided to join the coaching staff.

MADISON - The last time Luke Swan stepped on a Wisconsin football field, he was in street clothes and needed the assistance of crutches to move around. Hopefully, this memory will be a little more memorable for him.

Swan, a former walk-on receiver from Fennimore (Wis.) High turned scholarship athlete, will join the likes of Ben Strickland and Terrance Jamison as former UW athletes turned UW graduate assistants.

"Swanny was a guy I talked to originally when he was leaving us, (told him) that whenever his professional football career came to an end, I'd be interested in hiring him," UW Coach Bret Bielema said Saturday. "He actually had two other jobs before he came to me a month or two ago and said he wanted to do it. It's worked out pretty well."

Swan caught 60 passes for 1,046 yards and seven touchdowns in a two-year career that was cut short after he tore his hamstring in a loss at Illinois in 2007. Swan did sign as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs in May 2008, but was placed on waivers a month later.

An Easy Transition

Dave Huxtable looks a little like Santa, DeMontie Cross looks like a relative of Nick Toon and Thomas Hammock looks like a bigger John Settle. Not only do they do impressions, they give off positive impressions when working with their players.

"I think the running backs have a great advantage, especially Montee (Ball) and James (White) and obviously Zach (Brown)," Bielema said. "They are getting coached by another good coach. They had a great one in John (Settle) and now Thomas comes in, he's got a different way of doing things and a great reputation. You grow as a player because of that.

"DeMontie knew Chris (Ash) and Charlie (Partridge) back to their earlier days at Iowa State. They knew him personality wise and I think our safeties will enjoy working with DeMontie and special teams, I like what I've been talking to him about.

"I can't say enough about Hux. He's been a great addition to our staff. Just the chemistry he bring, the knowledge, the experience, the way he handles and manages the linebackers, I think our linebackers are kind of excited. I know of them made reference that he isn't the coordinator. He has a little bit more individual time for them."

Kelly Finally Healthy

After three injury-plagued season, redshirt junior Brendan Kelly appears to finally be at full health and was heavily involved with the second-team defense at the defensive end position.

"Brendan has been basically from about six weeks into the semester has been 100 percent working and doing everything we've asked him to do," Bielema said. "He flashed today. He was a great player before he got hurt. Hopefully, he's a guy that can continue to come on."

Kelly played right away during his '08 freshman season before suffering a season-ending hand injury in practice, allowing him to take a redshirt. His '09 season wasn't much better, playing in only eight games due to injury, and last season was even worse, missing the whole season with a variety of problems.

In the Crowd

In addition to the dozens of high school head coach and assistants in attendance to pick up tidbits, 2011 written commits James Adeyanju, Jordan Fredrick, Jake Keefer and Derek Landisch watched practice.

Perhaps the biggest name in attendance was 2012 Kenosha Bradford running back Vonte Jackson. Jackson has offers from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin, and spent time talking to Bielema.

Also at practice was offensive tackle Kyle Dodson (Cleveland Heights (OH) High), who has double-digit offers including ones from Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State and West Virginia.

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