Wisconsin offensive lineman Jack Nelson (79) proceeds pass protection during the second quarter in the Badgers’ 24-0 win over Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois. Mjs Uwgrid10 10 Jpg Uwgrid10

LT Jack Nelson practicing and will start the season opener vs. Illinois State

After undergoing a procedure to repair a torn ligament in his thumb, Wisconsin football will have their starting left tackle back for the season opener.

According to a report from Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin’s starting left tackle Jack Nelson, who recently had a procedure to repair a torn ligament, has returned to practice and is good to go for the season opener.

Coach Bostad shifted Nelson, last season’s starting right guard, out to left tackle during the spring, where he quickly became a stalwart of UW’s re-tooled offensive line.

Per 247Sports, the former four-star recruit was the No. 104 overall prospect in the 2020 class, the No. 10 offensive tackle in the country, and the No. 2 player in Wisconsin.

Nelson, a Wisconsin native, was a 13-game starter for Wisconsin in 2021, allowing 13 pressures and two sacks in 769 total snaps as a redshirt freshman. He received honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the media.

Per PFF, the 6-foot-7, 311-pound lineman finished last season with an overall grade of (69.4). His grade took a hit because of his six penalties, which was the most for any player on the Badgers’ offensive line.

His return for the opener is essential for several reasons. First, Nelson is a tone-setter and an athletic mauler who plays Wisconsin football the way it’s intended – with tenacity. Second, his availability allows everyone to return to their usual spots, specifically Riley Mahlman – who returns to right tackle where he’ll start in week one.

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