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Badgers consider moving VandenHeuvel into Thomas' left offensive tackle spot

Former Hudson Raider football players Eric VandenHeuvel and Kraig Urbik figured prominently into a recent Madison newspaper story speculating on who will replace Joe Thomas as the Badgers' left offensive tackle next season.

Thomas is expected to be a top pick in the coming National Football League draft. He also is the fiancé of Hudson's Annie Nelson, a former player for the Wisconsin women's basketball team.

The March 7 Capital Times quoted Badgers offensive line coach Bob Palcic as saying, "Who knows? We may move Eric VandenHeuvel back to left tackle and move Kraig Urbik back out to right tackle."

"The key," Placic said, "is that we want to get the five best guys on the field regardless of what position they may have played in the past. I want to find our five best offensive linemen and we'll plug them into the positions that suit them best."

The Badgers' spring practices started March 13.

VandenHeuvel, a 2005 graduate Hudson High School, was Thomas' backup at left tackle as a freshman. The Badger coaches moved him to right tackle last season, where he started every game.

Urbik, a 2004 Hudson grad, started at right tackle as a red-shirt freshman. He moved to right guard last season to make way for VandenHeuvel at right guard.

The Madison newspaper referred to VandenHeuvel and Urbik as "the Hudson tag team."

Palcic said he also is looking at a number of other replacements for Thomas - and leaving the Hudson side of the line as it is.

VandenHeuvel is the son of Richard and Jean VandenHeuvel of North Hudson. Urbik's parents are Kenneth and Joanne Urbik of Hudson.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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