Amazing how quickly things can change.
Endicott was nervous after Genyk, who he had developed a strong relationship with, left Nevada in March to join Gary Andersen's first staff at Wisconsin. Rather than worry too long, Endicott reached out to Genyk to see if Wisconsin had an opening on its roster for another kicker. The rest, as they say, is history.
It has turned out to be a perfect situation for Endicott. Not only is he contributing right away as a true freshman, but the Roseville, CA, native has family ties to the Midwest, including a grandmother who has a condo on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, where he spent all of his summers. Now he'll spend the next three seasons kicking for a the reigning three time Big Ten champions.
"It's awesome, I can tell you that much," said Endicott. "It was a huge shock going into the Purdue game, but it felt great being able to contribute to the team early. It's been surreal so far. To be an 18-year-old kid and play in the venues I have played in already, it's pretty incredible.
"If you told me two years I would be kicking in front of 80,000 every weekend, I would have told you that you're crazy."
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?
Endicott: Probably being far from home. It doesn't add stress, but you think about it every now and then. It's been great with my parents being able to come to a fair amount of games. Outside that, the academics here are pretty great. Keeping on top of your schoolwork and your schedule when you don't have someone to fall back on, like your parents telling you to do your homework, is important. It's been a pretty smooth transition from high school.
What's been the hardest part adjusting to college football?
Endicott: Probably just the demand of the school. In high school, you go to school and you go to practice. Now I am coming in during the morning, go to class, come back in the afternoon, maybe grab some lunch and then go back to practice. It's a lot more on the mental side with more meetings. Obviously the football is a lot quicker and the guys are bigger, faster and better. It's been different, that's for sure.
Since you arrived here, how have you changed your body to prepare for the college game?
Endicott: Hitting the weight room for sure, getting in there every day during the summer to get a little bit bigger. The main thing is sleep, just trying to get as much as I can. Whether it's an hour nap here or a half hour there, just to get some rest so your body can recover. Sleeping is important.
What do you think your strengths are right now where you can help this team and what your biggest areas of weaknesses?
Endicott: I came here thinking that kickoffs would be the thing that would get on the field the earliest, so I would say kickoffs have been the strongest part of my game. I want to get more consistent on field goals. I need to work on my ball flight a little bit. Obviously Big Ten linemen are pretty big dudes, so you have to make sure that they don't block it. I am feeling pretty good, but I have some work to do and I have a couple years to do it.
How is Madison different than your home town of Roseville? What's the biggest difference?
Endicott: My home town was a decent big city. We have around 300,000 people, but it wasn't so much a big city feel as Madison. It's more city-like, more downtown feel. I love Madison so far. It's great. It's a lot colder than my home town, but it feels homey.
Do you have any idea what you want to study in college?
Endicott: Right now I am taking economics, a couple communications classes and a music class. I would like to get into business school and then either into human resources or public relations. If that doesn't work out, I've always wanted to be a teacher, too. I like to work with kids, teach and coach.
What's your favorite place on the Madison campus?
Endicott: The top of Observatory Drive right over the lake. Whenever I am having kind of a down day or feel kind of tired, I just drive up there on the scooter and sit there for a couple minutes. It's such a pretty view. If I could stop there every day I would, and I usually do.
What's your least favorite place on campus?
Endicott: (long pause) That's a tough one. I don't think I have one. I can't think of any.
What do you enjoy doing most in your free time when you get the chance to kick back and relax?
Endicott: I honestly love to kick back and watch TV. If we have a night game, I'll sit at the hotels and watch the day games. I've made some pretty good friends here so far so I like to hang out with them. A couple of neighbors in the dorms I have a good time with, just play video games and hang out. They play soccer, so they have a pretty demanding schedule, too. I also like calling home to see how everybody is doing and get that face time.
Who did you live with this fall? How are those relationships?
Endicott: I'm living with Nathan Paup, who is a redshirt linebacker. It's been great. We've been getting along really well. The dorm is intact, so things are going pretty well in that sense. He's a great guy. We're both laid-back guys, so there's not any drama going on between us. It's fun living with guys, especially on the football team. We're together all the time so you get to know each other pretty quick.
What's the most interesting thing you've learn about Nathan?
Endicott: Probably that we don't know we were living together until mid-June. He committed late, so it's ironic that we were both in the same boat that we were committed to different schools and then decided to come here.
Who was your big brother and what was the biggest thing you learned from him?
Endicott: Kyle French was my big brother and he went through some pretty tough times with losing his starting job, but he always kept a level head and a good attitude. I really admired that. It hasn't been easy for him and I feel for him, but he comes in every Monday and he's feeling good. He never had his head down. He's always confident, so no matter it's to stay positive.
Where does your biggest support come from? Family? Friends? Teammates?
Endicott: My family, my parents, my grandma, my aunt and uncle who live in Chicago all help me out if I am having a good game or a bad game. They'll always support me. They're always there for me. Whether my parents are here or not, give them a call and they'll tell me I did a good job. It's what parents do.
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?
Endicott: I think it's pretty surreal for them. They always told me that I put my mind to it, I can do it. I needed to prove them right. I told them a long time ago in high school that I was going to play college football, and they told me to go get it. I think they think this is as awesome as I do.
Funny, they were watching the Purdue game on TV and they didn't even realize it was me on the first kickoff. They weren't really thinking about it. They called me after the game and they had to rewind it. Apparently my mom was crying and all that stuff. It's just cool for them as is it for me.
What's the best part of being a Wisconsin football player and putting on that red and white jersey, especially when you ran out on the field for the first time?
Endicott: That was crazy. The goosebumps, I never experienced anything like that. To run out of the smoke in front of 80,000 people with the band playing and walking out of the tunnel with all the guys, I wasn't even playing in the game and I had some much adrenaline going through my body. It was probably the coolest thing I've ever done. It was awesome.