Bret talked on Monday that he expects you to be one of the freshmen that see some time on the playing field Saturday. You've only been here a couple weeks but you've put yourself in position to be apart of this team. Just talk the experience you've gotten so far and the ride you've been on since you've gotten here?
I mean, it's a lot of hard work, great coaching by my position coach, Coach Partridge, a lot of help from upper classmen and pretty much just attitude, trying to do your best everyday and give 110 percent. If you don't know something, figure it out, know it.
There are a lot of different seniors you can look at for guidance. Who have you looked at to guide you and teach you about the roles you need to know to be successful?
I'd say all of them have their unique characteristics. Shaughnessy is obviously one of the better pass rushers on the team along with Newkirk on the inside. As a defensive end, you can still learn different moves and tendencies off the inside guys. Chapman and Schofield are great to learn from and watching them is a privilege.
What is something you bring to this team – a characteristic, an attribute or a talent in the field for the Badgers?
Hard work and attitude. I am going to come everyday. I am not going to go easy and I'm going to give it my best everyday.
Mike Newkirk told me a story about you that he was lifting and needed a spotter. You kind of chastised him when he was struggling by saying ‘I'll tell you when you're done' to motivate and it really impressed him that that was coming from a freshman. Do you remember that and that attitude you are bringing in? Most freshmen are coming in are shy and apprehensive but it doesn't seem like that is you.
I came in and my trainer back home told me to come in with an attitude. The first day, be wide eyed, open your eyes and see that these guys are big. The next day, you are a football player at Wisconsin, try to make it on the field. So, I came with the attitude that I am going to do anything for this team. The off season is something I take very seriously. That's when you get a lot of work done. That story is true. I didn't know how Newk was going to react. I am happy that he didn't take a weight and throw it at me or anything.
A lot of people underscore the value that is put into the weight room, especially for younger guys. Can you talk about how the weight room leads to success on the field?
Not just the weight room, mobility and anything you can do on the turf field. We've got a great strength and conditioning coach here. John Dettman does a great job. I just try to really focus on my off season, almost be more ferocious in my training so when I get on the field, it's easy. You can push 300 pounders around. That's how I look at it.
You're going up against a big offensive line here at Wisconsin. Who has been the hardest person to go against in your time here? Has there been one person that has given you more problems than other ones?
I mean, they are all good as you can see. A lot of them have got a lot of experience, Vanden Heuvel at right tackle, Gabe Carimi (at left). They are all great athletes. They aren't just big, they can move too. You've got to watch your back.
Does that surprise you that these big 300-pound guys are one of the quickest offensive lines that Wisconsin has had in awhile? Did that catch you off guard how quick these guys are and can pull?
Yeah, I figured that out real quick as soon as I got here. I actually remember trying some moves from high school that I use to pull. You can't do that at college here.
What was the eye opening experience? When did you realize that this high school move wasn't going to work?
Probably during this summer when I was messing around a little bit with an offensive tackle. I really couldn't get to the quarterback so I had to go in and watch some film and see what their weaknesses and strengths were and really focus on that. I'd say this summer.
Has film study been a big value to you? A lot of people weight film study different.
Yeah. Studying film is one of the best ways to get better. If you know how to do it right, and we have a great staff here that helps you out, you can pretty much watch any film that you want. I just really have taken advantage of that this summer and watch myself and it's been great.
You've been around this team for awhile now and you've made plenty of visits here to see the stadium and the team. Thoughts about running out onto the field of 80,000 people on Saturday for your first game? Is it nerves, butterflies, excitement that you are feeling?
I am anxious. I want to do it right now, you know what I mean? I don't want to wait one minute longer. It's going to be fun. I can't wait.