Spring Q&A: Michael Deiter

One of four 2014 commits to enroll for spring practices, offensive lineman Michael Deiter made the most of first spring by working as the team's starting center. Deiter spoke with BadgerNation about his first college camp and the strides he's trying to make in his game.

You said the big thing for you was to come here early and prove yourself, much like you did last June to validate your scholarship offer. With all the guys injured, you really got your money's worth, right?

Michael Deiter: Oh yeah. The quality of reps that I got this spring were amazing. Looking back, I am really glad I made this choice because it's really going to help me down the road.

Was the plan for you always to take reps at center because of Dallas Lewallen and Dan Voltz being out this spring?

Deiter: It was not the plan. I think the plan for me was to come in and play guard because we are thin at guard. Once those guys were ruled out, somebody had to play center.

Had you ever played center before this spring? If not, what's the hardest part?

Deiter: Never. Mentally it's kind of hard because I'm the one that makes most of the calls and who is blocking who. For me, the big challenge is blocking Warren (Herring). I have a lot of trouble blocking him. When the defense makes a shift, everything changes and we have to quickly snap. Sometimes my snaps are awful when they shift because I'm thinking too much.

From the portions of practice that were open to the media, there didn't appear to many quarterback-center exchanges. Were you pleased that with the amount of quarterbacks that have rotated in that there weren't too many issues?

Deiter: Yeah, the first week was pretty bad. I probably had about two or three a practice. Since late in the second week they got better, and I am happy that they are getting better. I had to make them get better or what's the point? It doesn't matter if you are good all the time and you can't snap the ball consistently, or you're not going to play.

All your coaches have praised the work you did during the spring and how you were able to step in and success with these reps. What do you feel these reps are doing for you now long term?

Deiter: It's doing everything. The reps I'm getting with the ones are more than I can ask for. I am blocking Warren Herring 90 percent of the time. To go against him all the time is super good because you have to get better or you are not going to get the job done.

Did you face a guy like a Warren Herring at any point throughout your high school career?

Deiter: Not really. I faced a kid who is going to Ohio State now, but he is not Warren Herring. He might get there, but he wasn't when I faced him.

When you watched the film of practices, what positives do you see and what things do you see that need to get fixed?

Deiter: Positives are for the most part I know where I need to be, I can get there usually and I know what I need to do. I have a decent grasp of the offense I would say, but sometimes physicality isn't there, especially with Warren. My hands aren't always in the right spot, so that's something I need to work on for sure. There are a ton of things I need to work on.

A lot of incoming linemen have told me the biggest thing they need to do in their first year is get their strength and weight up to that college level to be able to compete. What have been some of the battles you've had to go through with that?

Deiter: Strength wise for sure I need to get my bench and my upper body better for my punch off the line. I need to get that up. That's been the big problem, again, with Warren going against him. I don't have all the strength that I need to have an awesome fight with him. If I had more strength it would be a lot easier. I feel like I am working uphill.

Have Dallas Lewallen and Dan Voltz been the best sounding boards for you learning the center position because of their experience?

Deiter: Everyone for sure have been great, been Dan and Dallas have been there all the time. At guard it's been Kyle (Costigan) at guard. I play right guard when I play guard, but Ray (Ball), Rob (Havenstein) and Tyler (Marz) have been great, too. It's been really nice to have everyone trying to get me better.

What's the mood been like in the offensive linemen's meeting room throughout spring?

Deiter: It's a good mood. It's serious. Sometimes it's fun, but we know we need to get better and we're not where we need to be. We need to get better for sure.

Where do you see your future at with this team: center or guard?

Deiter: I'll go wherever. It doesn't matter where I play but if I had to guess, I would guess guard is where I probably end up. With Dan and Dallas coming back, they have center pretty well handled. I will probably get more reps at guard while still working at center. It doesn't matter where I play, as long as I am getting reps.

With everything that has happening this spring, you must feel so validated by graduating early and going through spring practices, especially since you are so far ahead of the curve right now?

Deiter: Oh yeah. I don't feel way ahead but from the playbook standpoint, understanding what to look for in fall camp and how to live in college I feel like I made a huge jump.

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