MADISON - Wanting to follow in his dad’s footsteps and play for the University of Wisconsin, Grafton (WI) offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel did everything he possibly could at the Badgers high school summer camp to impress the coaching staff.
He worked at offensive line for Coach T.J. Woods, defensive line for Coach Chad Kauaha’aha’a and even did some tight end drills, showing off his size, speed and athleticism along the way. He probably was worthy of an offer then and there, but nothing ended up coming.
“I felt like I had a good camp when I left, but I felt that I might have been too big for what they wanted,” recalled Benzschawel. “At tight end, they wanted guys they could mold and shape into what they want, and I felt I was too big and wasn’t quite fast enough.”
As Benzschawel went through his senior season and the Badgers needed to recruit solid offensive linemen to rebuild the program’s depth, Wisconsin took a second look at Benzschawel in mid-October and saw the makings of an o-linemen. Although committed to Syracuse at the time of his Wisconsin offer, Benzschawel didn’t need to wait long before accepting his opportunity to play for the Badgers.
Returning for a fifth 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?
Benzschawel: I think the hardest thing I had to get used to was the size of campus. I am from a smaller town in Wisconsin, so it was tough for me learning everything about this place, where to go, and how to get there.
What’s been the hardest part adjusting to college football?
Benzschawel: Again being from a small school you are playing on a small team, and I was always the best on that team. Coming here you aren’t the best and you have to prove yourself on a daily basis, letting people know that you belong here.
Since you arrived here, how have you changed your body to prepare for the college game?
Benzschawel: I ended my senior football season at 250 pounds. I came in at 285 and now I am 293ish. Putting on all that weight was tough, but I didn’t play basketball this year. I really took that time to workout and try to get myself to play college football on the offensive line.
What do you think your strengths are right now where you can help this team and what your biggest areas of weaknesses?
Benzschawel: I would say my biggest strength right now is my athleticism, but the thing I have to work on right now is my strength and my ability to learn the offense and what I have to do there.
Besides the size, how is Madison different than your home town of Grafton, Wis.?
Benzschawel: I would say the people. The people are a lot more different. A lot more diverse. Meeting all these new people, it’s like a big mixer, so the interactions are different.
Do you have any idea what you want to study in college?
Benzschawel: Right now I am undecided, but I am more looking toward environmental studies, just with the outdoors and maybe be a game warden.
What’s your favorite place on the Madison campus?
Benzschawel: Ian’s Pizza. I love the mac and cheese.
What’s your least favorite place on campus?
Benzschawel: I haven’t found one yet. I like everything so far. Maybe the Terrace because it’s far away from where I am at.
What do you enjoy doing most in your free time when you get the chance to kick back and relax?
Benzschawel: I like to go back to the dorms, watch TV and play video games. I like hanging out with my buddies.
Who are you going to live with this fall? How are those relationships?
Benzschawel: I’m living with Jake Maxwell. It’s going good right now. We’re getting along just fine because we’re both on the offensive line. We’re just trying to build that relationship the best we can.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learn about Jake?
Benzschawel: He snores pretty loud. Sometimes I wake up to him snoring.
Who was your big brother and was the biggest thing you learned from him?
Benzschawel: My big brother is Tyler Marz. Probably the biggest thing I have taken away is all the knowledge he’s shared with me through football and everything. If I mess something up he always corrects me right away. He’s been real helpful.
Where does your biggest support come from? Family? Friends? Teammates?
Benzschawel: The biggest support would definitely be my family. My family has always been there for me, and I am really grateful to have them.
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?
Benzschawel: My dad played here, so growing up I was always a Badgers fan. When I was offered by Wisconsin, they couldn’t be happier for me. They knew my hard work had paid off, and I was going to get the chance to live out my dream to play here.”
What’s the best part of being a Wisconsin football player and putting on that red and white jersey?
Benzschawel: It’s crazy. When you run threw that tunnel on Saturdays, there’s nothing like it. I’ve come to games since I was young, and I always admired those guys running out. To be a part of it, it’s unreal pretty much.