Spring Q&A: A.J. Jordan

After sitting and watching for the last two seasons, redshirt sophomore receiver A.J. Jordan hopes his work in the weight room, film room and on the field can give him more responsibilities in Wisconsin's offense.

After playing so much high school football in your career, you have sat on the bench and watched the last two years. What was last like for you watching from the sidelines?

A.J. Jordan: It was definitely a real humbling experience, but I know I have to take advantage of the guys in front of me and learn from them. I am taking what they do and make it my own craft and make it better. Last year was a real humbling experience, so I learn and take as much as I can from all the coaches.

How have you grown in each year, each camp that you have been here?

Jordan: Just learning the game a lot and becoming physically and mentally stronger. There's a great difference between high school and college, so I am trying to get stronger and continue to learn the game.

Going into your third year in the program, where is your game now compared to where you thought it was going to be when you came to school?

Jordan: I know I have become a lot more of a physical receiver then when I came in. I still have a long way to go, but there has definitely been a big difference in the way I play compared to last year. I've definitely tried to get bigger and stronger while working on my speed.

Zach Azzanni really preached blocking last year. Was that something you did a lot playing high school and if not, how did you incorporate that into your game last year?

Jordan: I did a little bit in high school, but it wasn't a whole lot. They really put an emphasis on that because it determines whether you are in the game or not. If I want to be in the game, I have to improve on my blocking skills. I have to have the mentality to get a lot more aggressive and try to take that and run with it.

What do you think are the things that really held you back from having a lot game repetitions last season?

Jordan: I believe just understanding the game (and) a lot of the installs. I know in order to take a big leap I have to take more time in the film room and learning the plays and going through it with the coaches.

What is the big thing you learn about yourself when you watch film? Are you watching yourself, Jared Abbrederis or other players?

Jordan: I watch myself and other receivers to see what they did in a drill, so I can learn and try to do what they did right or see what they did wrong. I am starting to watch all the receivers now, not just myself.

Through seven practices this spring, how far have you come since the end of last season?

Jordan: I definitely feel more comfortable with the coaches. I feel more relaxed during the practice and focused. I am more energized throughout the practice.

It's ironic that you are more comfortable with the coaches considering this is a whole new coaching staff. Explain that to me why you feel that way.

Jordan: I don't know. These guys are still pretty intense, but they are still a lot more relaxed at the same time. They got about their things a different way. It's a little bit different from last year.

What do you like about this coaching staff and the coaches saying that want to do more in the passing game? That has to excite you some?

Jordan: Of course. As a receiver, you want to hear that there are more passes going around. We're all excited about that and looking forward to it.

Talk about Chris Beatty and some of the things he's installed in your group in just a few weeks?

Jordan: A lot of details on routes, fine details, getting in and out of our breaks and a lot of reading the coverage before the snap. It's about understanding where the safeties are at and when they come down what to expect.

How much has your football I.Q. grown because of guys like Azzanni and Beatty?

Jordan: It's grown tremendously. Just having these different coaches offer different perspectives on things and learning about different types of coaches and players has been real helpful.

How have your group bonded together? Jared Abbrederis is the old guy of the group but there are a lot of young receivers your age on this team.

Jordan: We definitely had a lot of guys around the same age and we're competitive for playing time, so that's always going to push us to do better. That gets us motivated. I see us in the future being a good receiver corps.

What's the goal for you going into the next practice and preparing for the spring game?

Jordan: I just want to continue to make plays, catch the ball when I have the opportunity and being consistent with my plays. I want to work on my reads and improving my speed.

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