MADISON, Wisconsin — Paul Chryst couldn't wait for the beginning of his first training camp as Wisconsin's coach. He enjoyed himself so much he even participated in a drill with the running backs.
"I love being around these guys. For any coach, they give you energy," Chryst said at Camp Randall Stadium on Monday.
"It was fun getting out here. I told the kids at the end of practice that I appreciated their energy and their enthusiasm to it. It was a good start. Obviously, we have a ways to go but we'll get there if we keep stacking days like today."
Chryst comes to Wisconsin from Pittsburgh. While he has spent time as a player and assistant with the Badgers, he feels the pull of a new start.
"There is always excitement, new group new team," he said with a wide grin. "We've been working towards this moment. Fall camp is the last phase kids work on before games start. Every year is special."
It didn't take long for senior Tanner McEvoy, who started last season at quarterback and ended up at safety, to make a favorable impression on his new coach.
McEvoy is expected to play this season at safety and wide receiver.
"He's a big body that can run and he has really good hands," Chryst said of the 6-foot-6, 231-pound senior from Hillsdale, New Jersey. "I think he's got a good football IQ."
McEvoy spent most of his time during spring practice on defense but is expected to work primarily on offense during camp.
"In the spring, he did a ton of safety work. I think he feels comfortable," Chryst said. "I think there are some details at the wideout spot that he's got to get. Our plan is he can help us on both."
McEvoy showed his big-play ability during a passing drill, breaking free for a 60-yard plus catch from senior quarterback Joel Stave.
But Chryst didn't reveal whether McEvoy would start on offense or defense.
"That will sort itself out in camp," Chryst said. "But expect him to play both."
Chryst said it was a typical first day making the transition to a new season.
"This first week is mostly about installation," Chryst said. "The kids did a nice job retaining a lot of that information. So we were able to jump ahead also to the things that are important to the execution of it.
"Defensively, it's communication. But offensively and defensively, we want to install both of our schemes this week so it's a lot on the kids but I think they can handle it."
Notes: Athletic director and Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez was on hand for practice. "I feel fortunate," Chryst said. "I enjoyed working for him. I learned a lot working for him. I still feel there is more knowledge to be gained from him. When he comes out, he's got an idea what we're doing and it's an unbelievable resource." . Chryst said it was too early to tell how many true freshmen will play this season. "We tell every kid to come in and be ready to compete. We have a long ways to go before we even determine that."