September 2, 2008

Oglesby sees improvement at right tackle

MADISON, Wis. - Redshirt freshman Josh Oglesby may have to duck to get through doorways, but he represents the epitome of a UW lineman. Standing 6-feet-7 and weighing 328 pounds, the former five star recruit from Milwaukee will most definitely take the field in some respects this upcoming season.

He is currently listed in the two deep behind senior Eric VandenHeuvel at right tackle after coming off his true freshman season in which he redshirted.

"I think you get so much better taking reps on scout team versus just getting minimal reps as like a two deep player who's not going to see much time anyway," Oglesby said. "You get to go against players like Matt Shaughnessy, OB (O'Brien Schofield), Mike Newkirk and Chappy (Jason Chapman) and Nick Hayden and all those great players that we've had on defense."

Perhaps at a number of other schools, Oglesby could have arrived on campus as a true freshman and seen immediate playing time. Instead, he chose to stay in state and become a Badger.

By doing so, he knew he was going to a team that boasted a veteran line and that he would have to work his way up the depth chart to earn his playing time. And throughout the course of his redshirt season, he has seen that progression.

"Oh I think it's been great improvement just from knowing the offense because I know like coach Paul Chryst and coach Bob Bostad always say, 'you can't play hard and fast unless you know what you're doing," Oglesby said. "Knowing the plays allows me to play harder and faster."

Knowing that Vanden Heuvel has the starting spot locked down at right tackle, arguably the most important position this season on the offensive line as it protects Allan Evridge's blind side, could have an effect on a young player and thus complacency could possibly set it. For Oglesby though, being listed in the two deep, he knows what his job encompasses.

"No, I don't think you can relax at any time because you know you have the next man in," he said. "If Vandy gets hurt, God forbid, then you have to step in and play.

"So you can't take anything for granted."

During fall camp over the past month, Oglesby did work on both tackle positions. With so many nuances and intricacies embodying each tackle position, the task would be difficult for just about anyone trying to make the switch.

"I kind of get the feeling that sometimes he's got twice the load there," offensive line coach Bob Bostad said midway through camp. "But at the same time, he's been around, he knows what we're doing.

"Josh has just got to keep working, just got to keep putting his nose to the grindstone and just engulf himself in football."

Being a member of such a talented and veteran line helps, especially with Vanden Heuvel starting ahead of Oglesby at the same position to learn from.

"Vandy's great," Oglesby said. "He's a great teacher, he's a great friend. Not only is he a guy who I can go to on the field, but he's a guy I can go to off the field and just ask personal questions about being on campus, football and everything.

"It's just been a tremendous help along with Andy Kemp and Kraig Urbik and all those guys."

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