Spring Q&A: Bill Busch

Coming full circle by returning to the school where he was a graduate assistant in the 1990s, secondary coach Bill Busch is excited about the young players in his position group and getting a chance to recruit new areas for the University of Wisconsin.

Talk about the group that you are working with. You have senior Dezmen Southward who has played a lot of snaps, but a group around him that's inexperienced. How have these guys grown for you?

Bill Busch: The first thing that they've done is their care factor is off the charts. Everything they do they care about. Their mental effort is the same as their physical effort, which is great. They care, they work extra, they ask the right questions, all those things, so that's a big plus for me. That's what excited me the most about them right there. Nobody is afraid. They are a physical group. I don't have any concerns about them.

Are they a pretty versatile group with the number of positions some of these guys are able to play and accept what their roles are?

Busch: Yeah. We have them in different spots with whatever the offense dictates. Certain groupings allow us to play with three safeties. Sometimes the safety plays a nickel spot. There are a lot of things they have to do. It's not just two safeties that are 10-yards or 12-yards deep. There are a lot of things going on with them. They are doing a great job with it.

Talk about the decision to move Isaiah Williams and Kyle Zuleger to the safety spot and how have you liked their performance thus far?

Busch: I don't know a lot about Isaiah right now because he hasn't practiced a lot. He has a groin issue he's going through. With Kyle he's a highly, highly competitive man. We already knew he was tough with the way he's played on special teams, which does a lot of different things to him. We're just excited for the opportunity to coach him. We know he plays hard, we know he can run and can do some things. He'll catch up fast and he'll be fine. If you are a football player, you'll catch up fast. That's what he is: a natural football player.

Do you want to know who your four starters are at the conclusion of camp or do you want to keep the competition open as long as possible?

Busch: You want to have a good idea, but competition is always good, too. You never slam a door shut on anyone. Especially with us having some new things - there is a lot of stuff going on - we'll have some things solidified. All I really care about is who is understanding the concepts of what we are doing.

Since coming here, what do you like about what Wisconsin offers its student-athletes?

Busch: It's not a big surprise to me since I was a graduate assistant with Coach Alvarez back in the 90s. Everything is based off the same similar things of Coach Andersen's core values and our ethics. Everybody at Wisconsin has just great work ethic and that's what you expect when you come here, and that's what you see and hear when you are here.

Again the kids care a lot, their work ethic is great, they are on cue for everything that you want to get done. They aren't late. They are early. They are ready to practice. They kill it in the weight room and they give everything they have all the time. When you have a full committed team, you are really hard to beat. That's everybody. When you have a committed locker room, everyone is on the same page, everyone cares and the effort is there on offense, defense and special teams you'll be a hard team to beat. That has been Wisconsin's mark forever: hard-nosed team, tough team, big, physical team.

Because of your history here at Wisconsin and your history with Gary, has it been fun to go out and recruit with the Wisconsin emblem on?

Busch: It's been awesome. Talk about humbling. There are some jobs like that to you and I pray to God that I retire here. I hope we win a lot of games and do a lot of good things because this is a job you never want to leave because of everything. The people care, the city is great, the university is great and the people around here are off the charts. When you say you coach at Wisconsin, it's quite an honor. To have the ‘W' on the jacket is a big deal. It fires me up.

Where does Gary have you recruiting?

Busch: Right now I am in Ohio and then I'll fridge on a few spot places in the Midwest. We have some good interest in some things, and I'll recruit Arizona as well. There are some kids down there. I've recruited down there forever. It's a natural for me.

Arizona is under rated because of talent probably because California gets so much attention, but there are some really solid players that play in the state. Is there an interest level in Midwest schools from kids in the state?

Busch: There is because Wisconsin and the Big Ten is so powerful. Besides the stadium, just the sheer pageantry of college football in the Big Ten, especially Wisconsin, makes it pretty inviting. It's a ways away. You look for people who have ties to the Midwest. The kids that are completely West Coast probably won't come, but a lot of people live in Arizona that lived in Midwest. When we come in they get excited about that, so we'll see how it goes.

You have never recruited Ohio so when you go into the state and see the talent level, what impresses you about it?

Busch: I don't know the exact numbers, but they had a lot of Division 1 kids last year. I wasn't there very much in January. I was just there to spot recruits and see exact players. We'll see how that goes.

What's the big difference in recruiting for Utah State and recruiting for Wisconsin?

Busch: Evaluations are the same and most things are kind of the same, but the one thing that is a little bit different is we are a little more proactive. A lot of times kids that end up really good players that we ended up signing at Utah State, maybe we weren't recruiting a lot of those kids until November. Now the guys we are heavily recruiting we started six months ago. It's a little more advanced that way timing wise.

Do you like the depth you have at your safety and cornerback position in the program right now?

Busch: Yes, but I always want more. There's never a time if you ask me a question, 100 times I'll tell you the same thing; I want more. We want more. We want to have more depth all the time, but I am very happy with what we have right now.

I didn't get a chance to talk to you on signing day, so tell me a little but about Jakarrie Washington. That whole process moved pretty quick with him, didn't it?

Busch: We had a nice lead on him and he's an extremely talented player. We're really excited about him and excited to get him here. He's a talented player, but he's a freshman. Sojourn is a little bit different because he is here now. We'll see how Jakarrie develops when he gets here but I know this, he's already in the 185-pounds range. That's a good start.

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