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Photo gallery Wisconsin football debuts new era at ‘The Launch’

April 24, 2023 By Seth Kruger

New head coach Luke Fickell and his team presented ‘The Launch’ at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, April 22, giving excited fans a taste of what’s to come. The first public practice of the season, including a Red vs. White scrimmage, was the final event of The Launch. Prior to the beginning of practice at 1 p.m., a Kids Combine was held at the McClain Center, where hundreds of young Badger fans participated in field games and received various prizes. 

Crowds flooded the Camp Randall concourse as families, students, alumni and more entered the stadium for the first time since November 26, 2022. The football team took the field well before one in the afternoon for warmups as the stands filled up. 

As the Badger faithful took their seats in the stands, notable alumni also found their way to their seats, including Nick Herbig — a projected top 120 NFL Draft pick — and Jake Ferguson, former Badger and current Dallas Cowboys tight end. 

The practice began with a 20-minute half that featured full-field gameplay reflective of a true game. Multiple new quarterbacks, a plethora of new wide receivers, and trusty returning running backs starred on multiple versions of the Badger offense that took the field. 

On defense, the playmakers stood out. An interception-filled first half of practice showed encouraging signs for the future of Wisconsin football, and with each interception came a roar of excitement from the crowd.

Following field goal practices, the halftime intermission featured many iconic staples of a Wisconsin football game. Jump Around rang throughout the stadium as fans unbundled their layers and participated in the long-loved tradition. The T-shirt cannon sprayed merchandise throughout the crowd, too. 

The players retook the field under the watchful eye of Coach Fickell and his new coaching staff, featuring offensive manager Phil Longo from North Carolina and defensive coordinator Mike Tressel from Cincinnati.

The teams ran one last late-game drill to cap off a successful practice session. After a team huddle, the players stuck around on the field and in the stands to hand out merchandise, sign autographs, take photos and meet fans.  After hours of fun in the sun, snow, wind and everything in between, fans filed out of Camp Randall Stadium.

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