Many forget that Frederick, who enrolled at the UW in Jan. 2009 and participated in spring practice, became first true freshman in school history to start a season-opener on the offensive line when he lined up at center against Northern Illinois on Sept. 5. Many forgot about him after he got hurt in the second game of the season, opening the door for Peter Konz to take the reins of the center position.
He certainly was forgotten last season when, despite starting at left guard the last two games of the season, he decided to redshirt to build his strength and not waste a year of eligibility as a backup. The moved appears to have work, because Frederick is going to make fans forget about All-American John Moffitt.
Starting at left guard throughout camp, an improved Frederick has teamed with Ricky Wagner to forge a new force on the left side of the Wisconsin offensive line. After Tuesday's practice, Frederick talks about his year away, his growth on the field and what he learned from last year's seniors.
Badger Nation: After a year away, you have certainly added to your size. How do you feel carrying that weight?
Frederick: It's been really helpful. My first time at this weight during my first fall, I was this weight and I didn't feel very good at it. I went in the weight room and built it up the right way and I feel a lot better at 340 pounds now than I did now. I feel like I am moving better now at 340 than I was at 320 awhile ago.
Badger Nation: How much bad weight do you think you got rid of and how low did you end up going before building your weight back up?
Frederick: I think I was down to about 311 at one point towards the end of the season. I think I was down there and then started building back up. I can't say those 30 pounds were all good weight, but I do feel a lot better now.
Badger Nation: What was the hardest thing you needed to do to get back up to that weight? Anybody can get up to 340 pounds by just sitting on the couch, but to do it the right way must be a little hard?
Frederick: It's difficult. The first thing is you have to put a lot of calories in your system, and they have to be reasonable calories. You can't get fast food and ice cream everyday … although I do eat my fair share of ice cream. I spend a lot of time in the weight room, and putting in the effort, which I think is the big thing. We spend a lot of time down there squatting, power clinging and benching. That's really where you put the weight on.
Badger Nation: About how many calories did you have to consume a day to make up for the calories you are burning in the weight room?
Frederick: On a rough estimate, probably around 6,000, maybe 8,000 on same days. After a workout, I am getting 1,000 calories in shake and then going to eat right after that. Sometimes, I'll come in during the morning and have a 2,000 calorie shake. It gets you going in the morning (laughs). I think the right calories in protein shakes and good nutrients what you need.
Badger Nation: Do you feel like the forgotten lineman a little bit because you came in with some fanfare being the first true freshman lineman to start and then last year you held a clipboard?
Frederick: I think that's an oxymoron – forgotten lineman – because all linemen are forgotten most of the time. Here, we do get a little more press than other places, but a little bit forgotten. I think last year was good for me to sit out and get a chance on the clipboard. The first year, I think a couple of people were paying attention, but that's not what's important to me. What's important to me is being on the field and doing what I can do.
Badger Nation: What's it like working next to Ricky because you both are relatively new to the position but you both have multiple starts under your belt and have looked like veterans at times during spring? Has it been an easy transition getting the calls and assignments down?
Frederick: it's been pretty easy. Ricky really knows what he is doing and he's going to be a really good lineman on the left side. He had to adjust a little bit going from the right to the left, but I think he is pretty much there and we're starting to get the communication down where we can feel each other next to each other so I know what calls he's going to make and what he's not going to make so I can adjust off of that. It's something that you have to practice with him and then get it going. For us, it's not really a rookie position, a position that we have to hone in on.
Badger Nation: What goes through your mind when the naked quarterback bootleg is called to your side, which it has been more than a couple times this spring?
Frederick: I get nervous, but I love watching the quarterback's run. It's a lot of fun. When Nate Tice ran that one into the end zone, that was one of the most exciting times for us. I love Scott Tolzien's juke moves, too.
Badger Nation: What was more beneficial to you – your three full games of experience two years ago or being Bob Bostad's right-hand man with the clipboard last season?
Frederick: I think they are both good for different reasons. I got better experience playing in the game because you understand how it's going to be and you get a confidence about you knowing you can play in a game. Last year, the experience I got playing with the twos and getting a lot of reps was good. I got a lot of reps the first year, too, so they were both good. The first year was good for experience and the last year was good for experience and strength.
Badger Nation: What did you use as motivation during that time last year?
Frederick: I think I was able to look back and know what it was like to run out in front of 80,000 people and play a game, know what's it like to be on the field and do what you want to do. For me, knowing that I wasn't able to do it, I already knew what it would be like if I were to go in. I think it would be harder had I not played and wondered all season what I would have to look forward to.
Badger Nation: Do you take a lot away from Moffitt?
Frederick: Absolutely. He really put me under his wing on and off the field. He's really helped me grow as a person and as a lineman, and I really thank him for that. On the field, he showed me how to be mean and just do what you need to do on the field. I always thought about being a calm guy and figuring it out and there's time for that, but you can't always do that. Sometimes you have to go out there and just give it to them. I think that's the biggest thing I've taken from him.
Badger Nation: What's it like working with the first-team offense again and working with your playbook instead of the scout team playbook?
Frederick: It's totally different and it's nice to be able to measure yourself against a good defensive line. We have some good defensive linemen coming back this year, and it's nice to be able to see where you're at physically. Sometimes going against the twos or threes, you don't go against someone that's as big as you. It's nice to be able to go against some guys that are really good.
Badger Nation: Who has really impressed you from the defensive line?
Frederick: All the inside guys have really impressed with Jordan Kohout, Ethan Hemer has taken some great steps, Beau Allen is coming along and Patrick Butrym is doing a great job leading the group. I think that's a really good core inside.
Badger Nation: How psyched are you to end these two weeks strong, move into summer conditioning, have a good summer and continuing building the momentum you've started here?
Frederick: That's exactly it. That's exactly what we look for on the offensive line. We don't take anything off during spring ball. We're going to end a lifting session right at the end of spring ball, so we'll be doing heavy singles and then we're going to move into summer right away. I think that will be good for us, because we are ready to go.