The Freshman Fifteen - Chikwe Obasih

Chikwe Obasih was one of the key pieces of Wisconsin's 2013 in-state recruiting class, and the true freshman has spent the summer building his body to be a key piece of Wisconsin's future. Badger Nation gets to know the freshman defensive end a little better in the return of our popular feature.

MADISON - Finishing three-year varsity career with 223 tackles, 49 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, 6 fumble recoveries and an interception, defensive end Chikwe Obasih was one of the best seniors in the state last season. A first-team all-state selection by the Associated Press and the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association, Obasih was one of the key in-state pieces secured by the former coaching staff.

Now he's building up his game to put himself in position to be a contributor. Although he was slowed after banging up his knee late in the third practice in fall, Obasih has been 100 percent cleared for the past 10 days, working hard and keeping his options open to possible help the team on special teams this season.

Returning for a fourth season, 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?

Obasih: Responsibility of being by yourself. You have to manage your time well. We had classes this summer and you have to get to classes on time. You have to manage your money well. Me, Alec James and a couple other guys had single rooms compared to roommates, so we had about $600 less this summer. It probably dwindled down to about $50 before camp started. You have to manage your money, making sure you are spending it on good healthy food and appropriate necessities.

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

Obasih: It's the mental aspect. Physically a lot of us came in ready to handle some of the stuff. If you weren't there mentally you fell behind. You've got to know your plays, your assignments, your alignments, all that good stuff. You have to make sure you are mentally prepared to go through hours and hours of meetings and not fall asleep.

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

Obasih: I've gained probably about 20 pounds and it's all good weight. My endurance increased while I was up here. My strength definitely increased while I was up here. My felt my body get into a more traditional d-lineman body. I really appreciate the strength coach and the staff getting my ready for the season.

What do you think your strengths are right now where you can help this team and what your biggest areas of weaknesses?

Obasih: A couple of coaches like the way I play with intensity and how ferocious I am when I am in there with my reps. Just those bursts of intensity and flashed of aggressiveness showed up on film, and they appreciated that the first few days of camp. I really need to increase my footwork and technique from high school to this. Most of the time I see myself hopping instead of taking steps, so I need to fix my footwork and get all that down outside of practices.

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

Obasih: Walking everywhere. It's tough when you have a class 30 minutes away.

Do you have any idea what you want to study in college?

Obasih: I want to take some business-orientated classes. Hopefully, if it's not too hard with football, become an actuary. That involves numbers and risk management, and that's something I really enjoy.

What's your favorite place on the Madison campus?

Obasih: State Street. Just driving to State Street and checking out everything it has to offer. There are a lot of fun places to eat.

What's your least favorite place on campus?

Obasih: I get annoyed when people say let's go to the terrace. I don't want to go all the way out there. I'll try it later but right now it's just too far for me living at the Regent. Actually the Regent is pretty bad, so I'll change my answer.

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

Obasih: Hang out in other people's rooms at the Regent. That was a lot of fun. Playing video games and having a lot of fun Xbox games during the summer.

Who are you going to live with this fall? How are those relationships?

Obasih: Leon Jacobs is my roommates. He's a really cool guy. I don't know how he felt when he first came in. I felt like he felt he was a little different being the only kid coming in from the West Coast. Some of his jokes people didn't understand at first and the way he acted was a little different, but I appreciated him right away. You could tell he was a hard worker. He's probably one of the toughest kids on the team already. He's also Nigerian like me, so my dad appreciated that. He's a really fun guy.

What's the most interesting thing you've learn about Leon?

Obasih: He's an avid Friday Night Lights fan and Breaking Bad. You could see him coming in at 3 a.m. in the morning just sitting on his couch watching Breaking Bad. He's an avid TV series fan.

Who was your big brother and was the biggest thing you learned from him?

Obasih: Warren Herring was my big brother. One thing I learned from him is toughness. He's dedicated all the time. He knows what he is supposed to do at all times, he's a great teammate, he helps other people and he's pretty selfless. Seeing him help more people than me, selfless is pretty good.

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

Obasih: It's family. My dad is always there for me, above all. He always calls me, texts me, checks up on me. He's always there if I am hurt. He came up several times after I got injured in camp. He's been a great support for me.

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?

Obasih: He loves it. Of course he loves all the people coming up to him and talking about me. He just loves seeing me and my sisters be successful.

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

Obasih: I think it's going to be something special. After coming here on my visits and seeing how crazy the fans get and how supportive and tight the community is, it'll be a great thing to represent.


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