I had an opportunity once again to talk to scout Chris Landry on Friday on the Steve Duemig Show. Chris is one of the very best in the business when it comes evaluating players and teams, both in college football and the NFL.
I asked Chris first about head coach Gary Andersen and how he's done so far with the 4-2 and 25th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers.
I've known Gary for awhile. Gary's done a great job, not only there, and I'm not surprised that he's doing a good job. First of all, he did a great job at Utah State, he's an outstanding coach, he works hard at recruiting, they've got good players and Bret (Bielema) did a good job there and he left him a lot of good players.
Landry also is impressed with the new 3-4 defense the Badgers have employed.
I think what he (Andersen) did with the defense, going to the 3-4, made Chris Borland an even better player. He's just a better fit and I think they are a really good team.
Chis also talked about all the positive attributes on the team.
They're physical. Melvin Gordon is an outstanding back. (Joel) Stave has played well. (Jared) Abbrederis will be back, he had the concussion last week, he's the one vertical threat they have. But he's a big-time receiver. A big, physical guy. They've got a good tight end. They're physical as they always are up front on the offensive line. It's a really good team. I love their defense. I love (Beau) Allen, (Ethan) Hemer and (Ethan) Armstrong up front. And Borland. They're kind of young in the secondary. (Dezman) Southward is a veteran guy, but (Sojourn) Shelton, (Jakarrie) Washington, (Nate) Hammon and (Leo) Musso are really good young players. I thing they've got some good (running) backs. The (Corey) Clement kid is a really good running back, because I expect Gordon to come out (draft-eligible for the NFL next season). He's (Andersen) done a good job. It's an outstanding team.
Landry also talked about former head coach Bret Bielema.
I understand all the resentment and the frustration when Bret left. Because no one likes to be kind of a stepping stone. But Bret is going to do a good job at Arkansas. I think what Bret's finding out, and I'm not sure he's surprised, but it's different navigating through the Big Ten versus navigating through the SEC.
Chris also compared the situations with Andersen and Bielema.
He'll (Bielema) do fine there (Arkansas), and I think Gary will do great. Right now, the difference between the two, is that Bret inherited a bad situation at Arkansas in a tougher conference, where as Bret left a good situation in Wisconsin for an outstanding coach in Gary, that's just only going to do great things.