Welch Still Learning from Mehlhaff

Spending his redshirt season learning from one of the best kickers in Wisconsin history, freshman Philip Welch is ready to compete for the starting kicking job.

Badger Nation: A lot of fans are curious on how the special teams are going to go this year without Ken DeBauche or Taylor Mehlhaff. From your perspective, what have you taken from those guys from studying them and learning under them?

Phillip Welch: Being under them for a year, I learned a lot, especially how they are mentally, how they think, and their work ethic. Both worked so hard during practice and out of practice that really made us want to work to keep up with them.

BN: What stood out about those two guys, especially Taylor, that impressed you?

Welch: He worked really hard, both on the field and in the weight room. Taylor had the mental side of kicking down and was such a strong athlete. His work in the weight room was something you don't see very often (from a kicker). It was good to study under him.

BN: How has spring camp been going for you so far? How have you evaluated yourself and how you have been performing?

Welch: I have been doing OK. I need to do better for sure. Kicking inside is OK but it is hard to get stuff done when the team is practicing. So we have to go on the field early and we don't get as much done. Once we are able to go outside, we'll get a lot more done.

BN: Did you do anything this offseason to try and improve or strengthen your leg?

Welch: I didn't do anything major other than just relax. I didn't want to do anything that could affect me and my leg (for this spring).

BN: How's your relationship with Matt (Fischer)? You guys are obviously competing for the same job but is it a friendly competition? Are you guys enjoying it?

Welch Yeah, I would say it is friendly. He works really hard and is really focused. He's a lot like Taylor in terms of his characteristics. I enjoy being pushed by him.

BN: Outsiders would say the kicking game is going to take a drop going from an All-American to a first-year unproven starter. You are obviously very confident but from your perspective, is the kicking game going to change at all?

Welch I wouldn't really know until the season and we get started. I feel like my accuracy and kicking my field goals is pretty strong and that it could be a help. Whoever gets the job is going to do their best to make sure that (drop off) does not happen.

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