Fans' Q&A: Owen Daniels

Here is our first Fans' Q&A, with the player you voted for and the questions you selected. We are now opening voting for the second Fans' Q&A on our message boards, which will conclude Sunday night at midnight (CST). Here's how quarterback Owen Daniels responded to your questions:

Note: Owen Daniels wanted to say thank you to all of the Badger Nation subscribers that voted for him. He was flattered that you chose him as the first subject for the Fans' Q&A.

Here are your questions, answered by Daniels:

Bucky316: How's your knee? Have you regained all your speed and quickness?

Daniels: The knee's doing real well. I used a knee brace last year, and I decided this spring not to use it any more and it's doing real good. I'm actually feeling a lot stronger and faster than I did coming in here, so it's back up to 100 percent and I feel real good about it.

Dimven1: Do you feel your progress was hindered by your knee injury

Daniels: I don't know if it hindered my progress. It might have been a little bit of a distraction. It was close to 100 percent, but it felt a little bit uncomfortable. I just had to work through it.

Bucky316: Did you volunteer for special teams play?

Daniels: I actually started working, they needed some people this spring, just to start doing it. I guess I did an alright job and played in the spring game doing some special teams. So they had me start doing it at camp, and I guess I earned a spot in there. I had an opportunity to fill in on PAT and then kickoff return a few times this year. I'm just willing to do anything to get on the field, you know?

Bucky316: What do you think your main strengths and weaknesses are as a quarterback?

Daniels: I'd say my strengths are I have pretty good size, I'm a fairly strong kid. But I have a lot to learn. I'm just looking up to Brooks and Sorgi and I've been able to work on making reads, pre-snap and post-snap, and getting a full, all-around knowledge of our offense and what's going on everywhere.

Wispak: Do you feel you have a shot at beating out Jim Sorgi to become Brooks Bollinger's successor next season?

Daniels: (laughs) That's probably a long shot. Jim's a great quarterback and he deserves to be the next guy. I'm going to work and try to make him better and press for the job, but he's the next guy in line, he deserves it. He's a great QB.

Dimven1: Are you confident you can and will be the starter by 2004?

Daniels: I'm just going to work as hard as I can. I'm going to try to press Jim for the job next year and hopefully things will work out. I'm just going to try to be the best I can be. It's up to the coaches to make the decision on who's going to be out there. I'm confident in my ability to get better.

Wispak: Of the other young quarterbacks, who has impressed you the most?

Daniels: Right away last year, Devin (Hollins) impressed me. He has a great arm. This year coming in, John Stocco impressed me in camp. He did a real good job picking up the offense pretty well right away, and just being pretty smooth out there and not worrying about anything. So those guys.

Cragi: What do you feel your strengths and weaknesses are over the other UW quarterbacks?

Daniels: Well I think we're all pretty smart guys. We all kind of see what's going on, on the field, and we're all pretty good leaders. I would say those are our good strengths. We all have good athletic ability, good arms. We can always get better at different things, like reading coverages. You can never get too good at that, and you can never work too hard on making all different types of throws. So those are the things we need to work on as a whole group.

Cragi: Have any of the quarterbacks been looking at any possible position changes?

Daniels: I don't think so. I think we're all happy where we're at. I think everyone is going to have our time down the road. Coach says our time will come eventually, for each of us to play. You've been playing quarterback here and you're at college playing quarterback, you've been playing for a while, you love the position. It's the greatest position in sports. You wouldn't want to be playing anywhere else.

Cragi: How are you developing in the mental aspects of the game comparatively?

Daniels: Mentally? That's the toughest part of the game, I think. And I think I made a big improvement from last fall, and a big improvement from the spring. From last fall to the spring to now, I think I'm much better than I was then. You can never get as good as you want to be at the mental aspect, and be able to see everything and know what's going on. But I think I've improved in that area, definitely.


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