The Freshman Fifteen - James Adeyanju

One of the biggest verbal commitments Wisconsin grabbed from the city of Chicago, James Adeyanju has put big expectations on himself just because of the jersey number he was given. Badger Nation gets to know the freshman defensive end a little better in our popular feature.

MADISON - He didn't get to make the trip on the team's travel roster, but defensive end James Adeyanju was definitely proud that his new school represented well in his home city last weekend. On the same accord, Adeyanju's commitment was the Badgers' first big victory in Chicago in a number of years.

The Chicago area had never been real successful for Wisconsin other than getting under-rated linebacker O'Brien Schofield to commit, so getting a player of Adeyanju's caliber (posting 73 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 23 TFLs, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in senior year) and beating out Boston College, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Northwestern was a major coup for UW, giving the program some credibility in the area to go after major players like Dan Voltz (verbal commit) and Jordan Diamond (top tackle on UW's board).

In the return of our popular 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 been the hardest part for you adjusting to college life?

Adeyanju: The hardest part, honestly, is just getting to know people and find where I belong. Definitely school is a lot harder. Back in high school, teachers would tell you when things were due and stuff like that. Here, teachers just throw stuff at you and you have to be an adult and take care of all those things yourself. I am taking Atmosphere and Oceanic Sciences, History 150, Math 95 and Sociology 134.

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

Adeyanju: Honestly, people say it's the speed, but I think it's the playbook. It was a lot of stuff I wasn't used to. Physically, I think I am doing pretty good. I am not where I want to be, but mentally is the hardest part. The playbook is big and you have so many responsibilities as a defensive end in this system. I am excited to redshirt and build my body. I am kind of sad not being able to play, but it's going to be the best for me down the line.

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

Adeyanju: My upper body has changed quite a bit. My shoulders got a little bit bigger, my chest is better formed, my biceps got a little bigger but the main thing is that I have to get my legs stronger. My upper body is a lot stronger since I have got here because the workouts are pretty tough here and Coach Herb does a great job with us.

How is Madison different than your home town of Chicago? What's the biggest difference?

Adeyanju: The thing about Madison is that it's a really nice town. Everybody is so nice here. Back in Chicago is a different vibe. There are quite a few things to do here. I feel like I can go out here later than I could in Chicago because you probably don't want to go out late in certain areas in Chicago. It's definitely a change for me. There are a lot of different people and I am starting to mingle with different types of people. If I would have stayed in Chicago, I probably wouldn't have done that. It's been a nice change for me.

What is your major?

Adeyanju: It's either computers or broadcast journalism.

What are you hoping to do after college?

Adeyanju: If I do broadcast journalism, I am hoping to be like an analyst for football or I'd work with computers because I really love working with computers.

What's your favorite place on the Madison campus?

Adeyanju: My dorm asleep. Sleep is so precious here because we do so much stuff that right now, we have early workouts, class, study table, practice and then go home and sleep.

What's your least favorite place on campus?

Adeyanju: My least favorite place … probably is the bookstore. I don't like being in there because it's so boring.

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

Adeyanju: I love to just drive on my moped and check out the city, chill with my teammates like Louis Nzegwu and David Gilbert and other guys. Even though it's not as big as Chicago, I like to go around and check out other places.

Who do you live with and how is that going?

Adeyanju: I live with Devin Gaulden and it's been great. Me and him are different types of people with him being from Florida, but we get along great. We've learn to have a real brotherly bond.

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

Adeyanju: He didn't play football until his junior year in high school, and yet he's here, which is pretty impressive.

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

Adeyanju: Definitely my mom and dad and my brother Victor, who played at Indiana and in the NFL. He went through this, played in the Big Ten and knows what I am going through. I always call him and talk to him about football and stuff like that. He always gives me advice and makes me feel like I am not alone.

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?

Adeyanju: My parents are really happy. At first, I thought I would never get offered to come to a great school like this, but it kind of just happened. My dad said he knew it was going to happen all along. They are just happy that I am in the best situation because going through the process, they wanted the best situation for me. It really helped having my brother go through the same process, so they did a great job.

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

Adeyanju: That I am just my old man. I try not to let outside things influence me. I try to do the right thing.

What's the best part of being a Wisconsin football player and putting on that red and white jersey?

Adeyanju: Man, it was amazing. My first college game was amazing. Just getting to go out on the field and see all the fans ... it's like you are in another world out on the field. Everybody was screaming and I am wearing No.99, J.J. Watt's old number, and I just had so much pride going through me. It made me really want to be here and keep going and have some success here.


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