MADISON - Picking Wisconsin over Notre Dame and a host of other schools on national signing day, four-star prospect Arrington Farrar was the final impressive piece of Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst’s first recruiting class with the Badgers. While he was late to the class, Farrar is one of the first of his classmates to be early to the field.
Although he suffered through a knee injury and mononucleosis in fall camp, Farrar still showed enough athleticism and ability to be one of the three true freshman to see the field in the early parts of 2015. Farrar made his college debut in Wisconsin’s 58-0 win over Miami last week by playing nine snaps on punt return.
Moved from his projected outside linebacker position to safety after arriving, Farrar is an outstanding, educated athlete who could be a real impact player for Wisconsin in 2016.
Returning for a six 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?
Farrar: The climate. I am used to seeing the sun every day and planning for hot every day. I have to check the Weather Channel every day I wake up. One time in the summer I should have worn flip flops because it rained super hard. My shoes got wet and I walked down the street barefoot. The next day I said I would be ready for the rain and I wore my rain jacket but it ended up being 80 degrees outside. I check every day but I still get caught. One day I had to walk all the way to the facilities in sweats and it was 80 degrees and the next day was 60.
What’s been the hardest part adjusting to college football?
Farrar: Probably making checks after the play and looking at the whole field. I am used to playing one side and now I’m playing more involved with the defense. As a safety you have to be the quarterback in the defense. I miss some checks sometimes and miss some minor things but really it’s big in the grand scheme of things. I’ve got to get that right.
Since you arrived here, how have you changed your body to prepare for the college game?
Farrar: From all my teammates that went on to play college ball, they always told me not to worry about getting huge. They’ll get you huge when I get here and get you to the right size. They said just to make sure you are running and conditioning. I tried to make sure I would run every day, get that all in and still lift. I kept trying to bulk up to and work on hand drills, pass rush stuff. I was about 230-235 when I came here and now I’m 205-210. I had to cut out all that extra fat so now I’m running a little bit more.
What do you think your strengths are right now where you can help this team and what are your biggest areas of weaknesses?
Farrar: I would just say my instincts have been my strength ever since pee-wee league. I always have a nose for the football and the ability to make plays. Right now I have to get the playbook down. That’s the big thing. As soon as I get that down, I can be a bigger part of the defense and a bigger part of the team.
How is Madison different than your home town of Atlanta?
Farrar: First thing I noticed wasn’t the weather but how small is was and the people are a lot friendlier. It’s a smaller, colder town, probably the smallest city I have ever been in, but it’s still big for a little city. It’s fun.
Do you have any idea what you want to study in college?
Farrar: Originally I was going to do engineering but when I got up here I talked to my advisors and Dare (Ogunbowale), who, I think, was on the same track as me, and changed his mind to accounting. Hearing what he had to say about engineering and the finance aspect, I am thinking about going into either finance, accounting or economics where you can still use math in a more applicable, talkative and outgoing profession. I am still thinking about getting a certificate in engineering.
What’s your favorite place on the Madison campus?
Farrar: My bed. Actually my favorite are the sidewalks because I walk everywhere. I have a moped but I like walking because it’s really the only time you get by yourself.
What’s your least favorite place on campus?
Farrar: My bed (laughing). I don’t know if I have a least favorite.
What do you enjoy doing most in your free time when you get the chance to kick back and relax?
Farrar: If we have free time, 40 percent of the time I’m sleeping, 40 percent of the time I’m looking at the playbook – don’t know if that counts for free time – and the other 20 percent I am watching Game of Thrones on Netflix.
Who are you going to live with this fall? How are those relationships?
Farrar: I’m living with Olive Sagapolu. We didn’t room together in the summer, but we were two of the cleanest people. We figured we room together. He’s super clean, and I think I’m regular clean. When people come in they see his bed is all made and everything is organized and spotless. I look like a pig compared to him.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learn about Olive?
Farrar: Olive has a lot of quirks but cleaning is the big one. He’s a good roommate.
Where does your biggest support come from? Family? Friends? Teammates?
Farrar: Definitely my father and my mother. Really my family. I call my dad every night and tell him how practice went. I call my mom in the morning because she doesn’t stay up late. When I get a chance between classes I call her to see how things are going at home. Call my little sister to see how things are going or whatever she wants to talk about. Call my brother and ask him about college. It’s a good escape.
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?
Farrar: They aren’t surprised. Not to sound cocky but that’s been my goal and my mom’s goal since first grade. My dad signed me up behind my mom’s back to play football because I kept asking. He would have to sneak me to practice and all that stuff. She finally figured it out. In the first game she was on the sideline and was saying that if anybody hits me harder than they should she’s coming in and I’m not playing. I think the first play I trucked somebody and ran 70 yards into the end zone. She let me play after that.
What was the main reason why you committed to Wisconsin?
Farrar: It just felt right. I got that feeling that this is where I belong. I know the whole staff left, but you don’t pick because of coaches, you pick because of the feeling. It just felt right, it still feels right, and I feel can do great things here and be really productive here. I feel like I can have a successful life after football and athletics as a businessman because of the education I’ll get here.
What is like putting on that Wisconsin jersey every day and getting a chance to run out on to the field for a home game?
Farrar: You run through that tunnel 1,000 times in your head, but the feeling you get when you do it for the first time … it made me think of Rudy Ruettiger (former Notre Dame walk-on) with the band playing. I know we’re not Notre Dame but it made me think of the movie “Rudy.” I know I am not going to play much, but I felt like Ruettiger out there.