Gandy Eager To Kick It Off Vs. Badgers

Steve Gandy talks about the bowl game against Wisconsin and the young players who have caught his eye in bowl practices.

Orlando, Fla.--For freshman safety Steve Gandy it didn't take much viewing of the Wisconsin Badgers to single out the biggest weapon on their offense coming into the Capital One Bowl. After only a few plays the strong safety says one player stands out immediately.

"Calhoun," Gandy answers right away. "I think he's the best player on their team hands down. He's just a great player. They're going to do whatever it takes to get him the ball. We know that and they know we know that. They're still going to come out and run the ball and throw it to him on screens. He's probably the best back we've played against this season."

Brian Calhoun runs vs. Penn State.

A 5-10, 194-pounder with explosive speed and great hands, Calhoun has been the catalyst for an explosive Badger offense this season. This season he started all 12 games at tailback and finished second nationally with 23 touchdowns, which is a school record.

His 1,986 all-purpose yards are second in school history after Ron Dayne's Heisman Trophy season and this season he became just the second back in Big 10 history to surpass 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the same season.

Because of those numbers it should come as no surprise that the Tigers have been very excited about having the opportunity to face such an outstanding player. The toughest part for a player like Gandy though has been the wait. With over a month to wait since the last game against Alabama he says at times it has been tough to remain focused on the task at hand.

"You have to relax and wait (for the game)," Gandy says. "But the closer it gets to game time you get anxious and tense. That's any game. It's the same way as a Georgia game because all week you hear so much and then at game time you let it go. That's how I feel about this week."

Gandy returns an interception against Ole Miss earlier this season.

One thing that has helped Gandy this week is being in Orlando for the first time. While most players love to spend their time at the theme parks checking out the attractions, Gandy says his favorite part of the trip to this point has been checking out Orlando's huge variety of places to shop.

"It's going pretty good," Gandy says. "I have been down here having fun and getting after it. That's still the most important thing. My favorite part of the week has been the free time. We're able to go shopping a little bit. I love to shop so that's my favorite part, just going out to the malls."

Last year at this time Gandy was one of the players who made a name for himself in New Orleans during bowl practices. Used as a time for the younger players to get a jump on spring practice in scrimmage situations, Gandy says this year's practices have shown him the talent level on defense isn't going to take a hit following this season, it is only going to keep getting better.

"Aairon Savage has really caught my eye," Gandy says. "I think he's going to be a great player, a terrific player. Tray Blackmon, of course, looks good. He just runs and hits the ball. I love a player that will hit.

"I think Jerraud Powers is going to be good. I have been checking him out and I think he's going to be a pretty good corner for us. There are more than one player (at each position) who looks good so I think spring is going to be a good battle for all the starters and non-starters. Those young guys are going to want a spot."

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