The Freshman Fifteen - Jake Irwin

One camp was all it took for Jake Irwin to prove his worth to the University of Wisconsin. Irwin, who helped lead Waunakee to the state title last year, is ready to lead Wisconsin in the near future. Badger Nation gets to know Irwin a little better in its popular series.

MADISON - Although he won't be with the Badgers when they travel to Ann Arbor to face Michigan on Saturday, freshman defensive lineman Jake Irwin will happily stay behind at spend Friday afternoon in the Camp Randall stands.

After helping Waunakee win the WIAA Division 2 state championship, its third in school history, the Warriors will go for back-to-back titles against Cedarburg, and Irwin will be there cheering them on.

It's been a productive year for Irwin, who attended only one high school camp after his junior year and committed to Wisconsin, and after recently being named scout team player of the week, was praised by Head Coach Bret Bielema for being an up-and-coming player in the program.

In a new series for subscribers, Badger Nation does a meet and greet with the newer members of the Wisconsin football team, shedding a light on some of the unknown kids that figure to be important parts of the Badgers' future.

Asking 15 questions, we call this segment the Freshman Fifteen.

What's your prediction for the big game Friday?

Irwin: You know I have to pick Waunakee. They have got the momentum after winning their last year and hopefully they can get it done. They are playing with the same heart and emotion going into the game. They have a lot of what we had last year, which is a good thing. I've been back for four games watching them play, so it's exciting.

What's been the hardest part for you adjusting to college life?

Irwin: Probably just making sure you are there for all your classes and getting to all your classes. Instead of walking down the hall, you are driving your moped from building to building. You've got to be on top of that and scheduling when you are going to eat and what you are going to do your homework. It's a little less structured when you are at home being told what to do by your parents and teachers.

What's been the hardest part adjusting to college football?

Irwin: The game is a whole lot faster and whole lot more physical. It's a lot different than high school, but I am enjoying it.

Since you arrived here, how have you changed your body to prepare for the college game?

Irwin: It's probably being more physical with my body during practice and everything. Compared to last year practicing in high school to this year, I am just throwing my body around a lot more and trying to get things done here.

What is your major?

Irwin: I am undecided right now. I am just keeping an open mind.

What are you hoping to do after college?

Irwin: To be honest, I have been trying to think about what I am going to do and I just don't have an answer. I am going to take some broad, general classes and see where I go.

What's your favorite place on the Madison campus?

Irwin: During the summer, I like the Union because there is always something going on down there. Not so much now with it being cold out, but I like chilling.

What's your least favorite place on campus?

Irwin: Probably the classroom (laughing). Some of the lectures are so different than high school, especially with 400 people crammed shoulder to shoulder in these little wooden desks. I hate it.

What do you enjoy doing most in your free time when you get the chance to kick back and relax?

Irwin: I like to hang out and do whatever because there is so much stuff to do down here. There is so much stuff to do down here that you can do something different every day.

What music do you like to listen to, what TV shows do you like to watch and what food do you like to eat?

Irwin: Either play some Xbox or put in a good DVD. Nothing in particular. I don't like anything too crazy when I have free time because it's my relax time.

Who do you live with and how is that going?

Irwin: Kyle Costigan. It's going great. He's always keeping me on my toes. Makes smart ass remarks now and then. It's fun.

What's the most interesting thing you've learn about him since you starting living with him?

Irwin: Being the strongest freshman coming in, he's kind of a teddy bear. That's how he comes off to a lot of people, but I love the kid though.

Where does your biggest support come from? Family? Friends? Teammates?

Irwin: Probably my family. My mom and dad are always telling me to keep pushing when things get hard. Practices are hard and school is hard on top of that, so they just keep pushing me forward.

What's your parents reaction to you playing college football here, being on your own for the first time and starting your journey at this school?

Irwin: They love it. My dad is a huge Badgers fan, so it was great for him. He loved following the Badgers and now he gets to follow me with the Badgers. My mom is happy, too, glad I am going to college and getting my education.

It doesn't have to be football related, but what do you feel has been the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Irwin: It's probably getting the scholarship to come here and winning state. Probably a combination of the two. Coming off my senior year winning that trophy with all my best friends was pretty special.

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