Michael Deiter-move back to LG

Wisconsin left tackle Michael Deiter eludes an Illinois defender before scoring a touchdown during the Badgers' 24-10 win over the Illini last season. Deiter is one of three returning All-Americans on an offensive line that brings back all five starters from last year's team.

It's no secret that the position Michael Deiter played last season for the University of Wisconsin isn't the one he'll play in the NFL.

The 6-foot-6, 310-pound lineman, who's started 27 combined games at guard and center, filled a desperate need at tackle during his junior year in 2017. When he sought advice on his decision for early entry into the NFL Draft, the response came back quite clear.

"A lot of it I heard was, go back and play guard," Deiter said. "We want to see you play guard again. It was basically, 'We know you're not a tackle. It was nice that you did it, but we know that's not what you are.'"

Deiter returned for his senior year to do just that. He's taken all his reps during fall camp at left guard as Jon Dietzen and Cole Van Lanen battle to replace him at left tackle.

Deiter said the Badgers' coaching staff assured him that "baring anything crazy" he'd play guard this season.

"They definitely right away said, you'll be at guard, no problems with that," Deiter said. "Obviously they're staying true to that, which I expected them to. They knew the importance of the next level. It's nice that they took it serious and said, 'Yep, we'll put you at guard.'"

Regardless of his NFL prospects, it's a welcome return for Deiter to slide back into a more natural position.

That's not to say Deiter wasn't successful at tackle last season. He earned second-team All-American honors from Sporting News and became a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection.

Once he re-adjusts to moving yet again, he'll likely prove even more effective at left guard for an offensive line that projects as one of the nation's best.

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"I'm doing some tackle stuff inside that I need to definitely correct," Deiter said. "I'm trying to play a little more athletic than I need to sometimes. I get carried away with my feet because I think I'm going to get (beat). Whereas you get someone like (nose tackle) Olive (Sagapolu) who's way more powerful.

"At tackle, you're getting so much twitch and athleticism that you're just reacting and stuff, whereas at guard, you can be way more powerful and at guys, and I think I'm still in between the two. That's why we have camp."

From the infirmary

Dietzen (right leg) returned to Wednesday's half-padded practice, while UW upgraded right guard Beau Benzschawel (right arm) to limited after sitting out Tuesday. Left tackle David Edwards also practiced in a limited capacity after leaving Tuesday's practice with a left arm injury.

Wide receiver A.J. Taylor, who was injured late in Tuesday's practice, did not participate Wednesday and wore a walking boot on his left foot.

Cornerback Travian Blaylock (right leg), kicker Rafael Gaglianone (right leg), defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (left leg), offensive lineman David Moorman (right leg) and tight end Zander Neuville (right leg) were also listed as out Wednesday, although Neuville was in uniform. Offensive lineman Logan Bruss (right leg), inside linebacker T.J. Edwards (right leg), offensive lineman Jason Erdmann (right leg) and fullback Alec Ingold (right leg) were limited.

Extra points

The Badgers' first-team offensive line Wednesday featured Dietzen (LT), Deiter (LG), Tyler Biadasz (C), Josh Seltzner (RG) and Cole Van Lanen (RT). ... Faion Hicks and Deron Harrell took initial first-team reps at cornerback Wednesday as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Jim Leonhard continues to rotate Hicks, Harrell, Dontye Carriere-Williams and Caesar Williams. ... The Big Ten Network visited UW practice Wednesday as part of the network's BTN bus tour.


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