The Freshman Fifteen - Austin Maly

One of three tight ends in the 2011 recruiting class, Austin Maly brings a hometown feel to the program, and a lot of raw abilities that could make a big impact in Wisconsin's starting offense down the road. Badger Nation gets to know the freshman tight end a little better in our popular feature.

MADISON - Consider the story of Austin Maly playing for the right team at the right time.

A tall, lanky tight end for Waunakee (Wis.) HS just north of Madison, Maly was a solid pass catcher with a raw set of abilities, but really got a huge benefit by playing on the same field with former UW player Jake Irwin. With his advanced ability to block and his improving ability to catch, Maly made an imprint with the coaching staff and really impressed the staff with his performance during UW's '09 summer camp and his interactions with them during UW's junior day.

Since accepting a scholarship offer in May 2010, Maly has found his niche. A first-team all-state selection by WFCA and A.P., Maly caught 31 passes for 870 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior and has spent his redshirt season improving his body and preparing his game against Wisconsin's tough defense.

"It's been a ball," Maly said. "I love going out there and competing against the ones. I know they are the best on our team and most of them are the best in the country. It's great for me to get better at blocking because the defensive ends are amazing and the linebackers are really good. Having to go against that speed everyday has really helped me out." 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?

Maly: Just the time. The time management has been the hardest thing. I feel like I am always running around, always on my moped getting from class to class and then getting to practice. It's knowing when to do homework, when to rest and take a break.

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

Maly: Definitely the speed of the game and the blocking techniques you have to learn. That's been the hardest part for me. The meeting rooms, the time … it drags along but it's all worth it in the end.

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

Maly: I actually became stronger, but I actually stayed the same weight. I am losing body fat, but I am gaining muscle. I am feeling stronger and I am grinding it out during 6 a.m. workouts.

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

Maly: Traffic. Traffic is a huge deal around here. I used to live out in the country and we had no traffic. Now getting to class, you are swerving through cars sometimes. It's not legal, but you follow everybody else because if one person does it, it makes it all right. It's pretty different, but it's exciting.

What is your major?

Maly: I hope kinesiology.

What are you hoping to do after college?

Maly: I want to be an athletic training, but it's a lot of time management. Our trainers here have to put a certain amount of time into it and it's not really possible for a football player. I am still trying to think about it.

What's your favorite place on the Madison campus?

Maly: Meeting people in the dorms. That's probably my favorite part. We have a great floor. We all get along and everybody shares everything. It's really fun.

What's your least favorite place on campus?

Maly: Probably the readings. There are a lot of readings. A LOT of readings, so anywhere I have to read would be my least favorite.

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

Maly: I like going home and seeing my parents. I am only 20 minutes away, so I just get on my moped and drive back. My mom always calls me, so it's nice to go and surprise her.

Who do you live with and how is that going?

Maly: I am living with Tyler Marz (lineman from Minnesota). We're good. We are both kind of the same person. We know when to get to bed and be social and get our homework done.

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

Maly: He's a big softie. When you look at him, he looks like a big, mean guy from Minnesota but he's really just a nice guy trying to make his way into the program.

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

Maly: Probably definitely my parents, and my dad the most. He was always the one pushing me in high school, making me be the best I can be and he's still right there. He comes to all the games and has been real supportive.

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?

Maly: They are really excited. They are real proud of me and right now I am focusing on not letting them down. I am trying to make our name noticeable and make it a solid name for the rest of my life.

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

Maly: Not letting this get to me. I am still the same person, still get along with everybody … usually and if they are nice to me I'll be nice to them. It doesn't' matter who you are. My mom said to always respect people how you want to be respected. That's how I am still living and it's doing pretty good so far.

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

Maly: Putting on that jersey really keeps you going. On scout team, sometimes it's a long scout day and just remembering the Nebraska game and how loud the fans were. The fans and the team basically became one. My ears were ringing and it was just exciting. The fans really helped us out, kept us going and helped us win that game because we had a lot mistakes early that put us back. They were still in and it was just awesome.

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