Olive Sagapolu is coming off his first career start for Wisconsin

One of two true freshmen to start a game this season, nose tackle Olive Sagapolu is carving out a role for himself in a crowded position. Badger Nation gets to know the freshman a little better in the return of our popular feature.

MADISON – Olive Sagapolu is use to rapid ascension in his football career.

At Materi Dei High School in California, Sagapolu was recognized as team’s most valuable offensive lineman as a freshman, the most improved player as a junior and most valuable defensive lineman as a senior.

So it shouldn’t be a real shock to see Sagapolu, with only four games of experience, get his first career start against Iowa.

“It was his first extensive action, and it could have went much worse,” said defensive end Chikwe Obasih. “He had some of plays out there. The pace of the game probably surprised him. Talking up to him during the game, I was proud of what he did.”

With three nose tackles on the roster and two more currently committed in the 2016 recruiting class, the future for Sagapolu looks bright as he progresses at Wisconsin.

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?

Sagapolu: I really haven’t had a big adjustment yet because it’s something I’m always used to growing up: be there on time, be there early, stuff like that.

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

Sagapolu: From California you go up against a lot of good guys. Out here you are going against bigger and faster guys. The whole tempo is a lot faster, so it’s something you have to pick up.

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

Sagapolu: During the summer I came in here pretty heavy and out of shape. Over the course of the summer I’ve done extra workouts to better prepare my body and myself for the season.

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

Sagapolu: I wouldn’t say I have strengths yet. I am still developing as a young athlete. I just take whatever I can and learn from the veterans and apply that to my game.

How is Madison different than your home town of Huntington Beach, CA?

Sagapolu: It’s definitely more humid. The humidity is just crazy. You get a cool breeze and then all of a sudden you get heat. It’s a big adjustment with the weather.

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

Sagapolu: As of right now I am taking the requirements we have. Over time I’ll look more into where I want to further my degree.

What’s your favorite place on the Madison campus?

Sagapolu: I would probably have to sat the Memorial Terrace … or my bedroom sleeping.

What’s your least favorite place on campus?

Sagapolu: I don’t have one. Everyone I go is a fun place to be around.

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

Sagapolu: Something I like to do is talk to my family and see how they are doing. I like to play the ukulele, hang out with friends, sing songs and stuff.

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

Sagapolu: I am living with Arrington Farrar. The guys is just fun to be around. He’s a funny guy.

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

Sagapolu: One of our goals is to keep our room clean. That’s one of our goals for the year to keep it as spotless as we can.

Where does your biggest support come from? 

Sagapolu: The biggest support I would say comes from my teammates who are out here with my grinding every day to get better. After that I would say my family. They are always there for me like they were in high school, just supporting me and encouraging me to do better.

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?

Sagapolu: They are very surprised. They love it. They love the whole experience of Wisconsin. They love the whole tradition that they have and how the environment was so welcoming.

What was the main reason why you committed to Wisconsin?

Sagapolu: I just felt welcomed. It felt like home to me. It’s something I was looking for in colleges.

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?

Sagapolu: Putting on that jersey and coming out of the tunnel, I just thank God because I am truly blessed for the opportunity to play for a great Division 1 college. I get in that mindset to get ready to play, have fun with it and enjoy it play by play.


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