The Freshman Fifteen – Derrick Tindal

A late flip from Big Ten rival, Derrick Tindal has made an immediate impact by seeing meaningful reps in Wisconsin’s secondary. Badger Nation gets to know the freshman offensive lineman a little better in the return of our popular feature.

MADISON - Derrick Tindal flipped his commitment from Indiana to Wisconsin in January because he wanted to play early for a talented program. He’s gotten his wish so far with the Badgers.

Since making his college debut against Western Illinois, Tindal has played in every game for Wisconsin in a variety of different roles on the defense, including working in the Badgers’ nickel package. He’s made nine tackles over that stretch, including a career-high four tackles and his first tackle for loss at Northwestern.

“The opportunity to contribute at a big time program is a big accomplishment to me,” said Tindal. “I didn’t expect it to come as early. I expected to contribute on special teams, but this has been a real blessing for me.”

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?

Tindal: Probably getting myself up on time. I always make it but it’s hard. I wake up in the morning, look at the clock and wish I had an extra five minutes of sleep. Those extra five minutes always seem to turn into 30 (minutes).

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

Tindal: Probably just mentally staying in and pushing myself through the day. In high school you really didn’t have to push yourself that way. In college you have to go harder than you did the day before to get better. If you’re not getting better, somebody else is getting better.

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

Tindal: I am a lot stronger. I can lift more weight. I really wasn’t that good with my legs in the weight room. Now I can lift a lot thanks to Coach Simon and the coaching staff.

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

Tindal: Biggest strength is my attitude. I never get mad. I take the coaching. Even if I am getting yelled at, I know how to push the yelling aside and take the coaching out of it. I think that’s my biggest strength.

Weakness … I don’t have none. Superman.

Besides the size, how is Madison different than your home town of Fort Lauderdale, FL?

Tindal: There’s more people and a lot of different races. My whole town is African American. Now there’s just a mix of everything.

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

Tindal: I want to be an athletic trainer, so I am looking at that.

What’s your favorite place on the Madison campus?

Tindal: My dorm room because I get to sleep.

What’s your least favorite place on campus?

Tindal: The bus stop. That means I’m on my way to class.

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

Tindal: I like to try to get ahead of my work so I don’t have to worry about things. I like to chill out, lay back and hang out with my friends and the rest of the freshmen.

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

Tindal: I live with George Rushing. It’s going OK. We get along fine. We knew each other before I came. We get along just great.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learn about George?

Tindal: We are a lot alike, so nothing strange has come up really.

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

Tindal: Devin Gaulden was my big brother. He kept my head into it and told me never to give up. I was at the point in fall camp that I wanted to give up and really wanted to go home and he told me to stick in there. I took that advice and now I’m here. I wasn’t homesick. I was just really tired and felt I wasn’t getting nowhere at first. I was getting mad but I stuck with it.

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

Tindal: My family, my mom and dad keep me on the right track along with my sisters and girlfriend from back home. She always calls me to make sure I am all right.

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?

Tindal: Sometimes my mom and dad are more excited than me. My mom called me the other night and told me any time she see me on the field she screams, ‘You got to make a play.’ I told her she’ll be doing that a lot now, a lot of screaming.

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

Tindal: It’s a big thrill. I was shocked. It was always a dream to play college football, especially at a big D-1 program, and now I’m here. It’s something I’m very excited for.


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