Senior wide receiver Nick Toon was drawing a lot of attention after the University of Wisconsin football practice on Tuesday.

Toon had a lengthy phone interview with a USA Today reporter before facing the local media.

The attention was understandable, given the start to the season for Toon, who leads the Badgers with 21 receptions for 353 yards and five TDs. It's early, but at his current pace, counting a bowl game, Toon would finish with more than 1,100 receiving yards.

Only three receivers in UW history have put up 1,000-yard seasons: Lee Evans in 2001 and '03 and Brandon Williams in 2005.

After an injury-filled junior season, Toon has stayed healthy, which is the first factor.

"The biggest thing is being able to play every Saturday," he said after missing four games last season. "It's one thing to miss one game and come back, but to miss two, three, four weeks in a row and jump back into it is hard to do."

Toon has caught the ball well, almost always with his hands, away from his body. That's something he was taught by his dad, Al Toon, a former UW great and NFL receiver.

"That's something my dad instilled in me as a young player,'' Nick Toon said. "A lot of the great receivers, you watch (Arizona's) Larry Fitzgerald play, he catches everything away from his body. ... There are sometimes you can't catch it in your hands. If you can, you've got to try and keep it away from your body."

The attention Toon has garnered from the media is nothing compared to what's going to happen on the field during Big Ten Conference play, starting Saturday night against Nebraska.

One of the top matchups in the game figures to be Toon against Nebraska senior right cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. After missing the first three games with a pulled leg muscle, Dennard returned last week against Wyoming, just in time to knock off some of the rust before seeing Toon.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is known for having aggressive cornerbacks who like to be physical and the 205-pound Dennard fits that description.

"The first game back, you're going to have some issues," UW coach Bret Bielema said of Dennard. "He just is extremely quick. You can tell he's got some natural instincts. He's a fighter.

"I can see how he fits right into what Bo's mentality is. He's very aggressive and that comes as second nature to him. There's no hesitation in any action, his body just naturally has quick responses to everything he sees."

It remains to be seen if the Cornhuskers try to match up Dennard on Toon, regardless of where he is on the field. Redshirt freshman Corey Cooper, a converted safety who made his first career start at cornerback last week, or sophomore Ciante Evans, who started the first three games, is expected to start at left cornerback.

But it's not like defenses can focus too much on attention on Toon, given the weapons around him such as receiver Jared Abbrederis (15 receptions for 233 yards), tight end Jacob Pedersen (11 for 175) and a strong running game.

"When you have multiple weapons on offense ... it's very hard for defenses to key and make adjustments on one player, when a lot of guys can go out and make plays," Toon said.

Oglesby returns

Senior right tackle Josh Oglesby returned to practice with no issues after missing the past game with a sprained left knee. He is the likely starter ahead of redshirt freshman Rob Havenstein, who took Oglesby's spot against South Dakota.

While Havenstein played well last week, offensive line coach Bob Bostad would like to go with experience.

"For me right now, I've kind of started out with Josh (as the starter)," Bostad said. "This is a game where experience rules.''


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