Spring Q&A: Kyle Zuleger

After spending the majority of his career trying to break through as a running back, fifth-year senior Kyle Zuleger is now taking repetition on the second team of Wisconsin's secondary.

How did you embrace a drastic change like that – going from a player that has spent years running the football to now being the guy trying to stop the ball carrier?

Kyle Zuleger: It's something I am embracing. They obviously made a change because they felt I can make an impact. It's something that I am going to take on full ahead. I came in as a safety and I moved to running back my freshman spring ball. In high school I played both sides of the ball. Between that and playing on special teams, it's kind of a mix that wasn't something completely unfamiliar.

Who approached about the opportunity to move you to take advantage of your abilities and get you on the field?

Zuleger: I was approached by Coach Andersen, Coach Busch and Coach Hammock. I had a three-headed monster come at me (laughing). They asked me about it. They just said they felt I could make a change and help the team win. I said I was down for it because it's all about the team winning games. That's why we do this.

What are some of the big changes that you are going to have to adjust now with your new position?

Zuleger: I think the new terminology and catching up on the installs is the big thing. Learning the ins and outs and the little things of the defense will be important for me.

Are you pretty excited now with this change because the coaches made it to get you on the field?

Zuleger: It's something that I won't take lightly. I am going to be optimistic about it. I am not going to get down on myself. I am going to embrace it and try to run with it.

As a special teams player for a number of years, how are the special teams installs different than maybe what they've been in the past few years?

Zuleger: I don't think they are very much different. It's the same concept with different terms. We obviously have to shake out who is going to be what with our personnel. Overall it's the same idea.

What is Jeff Genyk's style with the special teams? What is he bringing to the table and how are you excited about the direction he could take your unit?

Zuleger: It's very energetic. He has a plan that is generally simple, but the aim is to play faster. It's still too early to tell, but I think his energy and the fact that it's simple, at this point, helps out play fast and makes us put out all we can so they can evaluate.

When you look back at your four special teams unit, were you pretty happy with what you guys did consistently throughout the year? How can you grow from that?

Zuleger: Yeah, I think we were pretty solid and I was pretty happy with what we did. It's about concentrating on the game plan and just being consistent from game to game. If you put a flaw on tape, it can be exploited the next week. I think we were solid from week to week.

What's it been for you to be an in-state guy who has had an impact on this team to have won three Big Ten championships the last three years?

Zuleger: It's great. Obviously when you come in you want to win the national championship, go to the Rose Bowl, whatever it might be. To go to three Rose Bowls and win three Big ten championships is very special. Obviously playing on special team, it was working for me. I wasn't complaining. I was happy with what we were doing.

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