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Hornibrook-named starter

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12) throws a pass during the first quarter of a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016. M.P. KING, STATE JOURNAL

University of Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook was expected to be the Badgers' starting quarterback this year, but it appears he's already won the job months before the season begins.

UW confirmed Hornibrook as the Badgers' starter Monday, the day before spring practice is set to begin.

"He is the guy," Badgers coach Paul Chryst said in a story posted on UW's official athletics website. "He knows it and he thinks it."

The story also revealed plenty of other tidbits prior to the start of spring.

Rising redshirt sophomore David Edwards, a former tight end who started UW's last seven games at right tackle in 2016, enters spring as the projected starter at left tackle. He replaces Ryan Ramczyk, who left a year early for the NFL.

The Badgers expect Hawaii transfer Nick Nelson to take over the starting role vacated by Sojourn Shelton. Nelson sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules and has two years of eligibility remaining.

The story also states that fifth-year senior tight end Troy Fumagalli will have a larger role in UW's offense this season. He led the Badgers with 47 catches last year and finished with 580 yards and two touchdowns.

A host of Badgers will miss spring practice entirely, according to UW, including their top four inside linebackers -- Jack Cichy (shoulder), T.J. Edwards (foot), Chris Orr (knee) and Ryan Connelly (shoulder).

Others expected to miss the spring are offensive linemen Jon Dietzen (ankle) and Jacob Maxwell (shoulder), cornerbacks Titus Booker (shoulder) and Caesar Williams (core), defensive end Chikwe Obasih (hip), running back Taiwan Deal (ankle), wide receiver Ricky Finco (shoulder), inside linebacker Mason Stokke (knee) and Jake Whalen (shoulder), who is now a fullback after beginning his UW career as an outside linebacker.

Senior Natrell Jamerson has moved to safety, per UW. With the departure of Leo Musso, Jamerson will likely have an opportunity to compete for a starting job alongside D'Cota Dixon.

Other position changes have sophomore Tyler Johnson now at inside linebacker instead of outside linebacker, redshirt freshman quarterback Garrett Groshek moving to running back and redshirt freshman defensive end Hegeman Tiedt switching to outside linebacker.

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