Megna Making Strides

Walking on to the team two years ago, redshirt freshman Tony Megna is making strides on Wisconsin's scout team, which has earned the right to start hitting opponents on Wisconsin's special teams.

MADISON – While fans and pundits look for a reason why the Wisconsin offense continues to struggle, one only has to look at the Badger scout defense to see that redshirt freshman Tony Megna is playing some solid football, disrupting plays, fighting off blocks and causing chaos and disjointed rhythm among the offense.

OK, maybe blaming a member of the Badger scout defense is a stretch but in the eyes of Megna, he takes the struggles of the unit he's in charge of preparing very seriously.

"It motivates me to work harder," Megna said. "I try to work as hard as I can everyday and if they're not getting the look that they need, you have to work even harder for the next week. I take it personally that if they're not getting the right look, the problem is partly on my shoulders."

Two years ago, Megna was just hoping for an opportunity to have some responsibilities on a college football team. Tearing his ACL, MCL and cartilage in the first three minutes of his first game his senior year at Oak Creek High School, Megna made his way to Wisconsin as a walk-on last season in hopes of being a contributor in the future.

One year later, Megna's knee is fully recovered and he's been a solid attribute to Wisconsin's defense, earning scout team player in back-to-back weeks as UW prepared for Michigan and Ohio State.

"Good things that come to people that work hard," Megna said. "You just keep working hard everyday to get the offense better. They've been struggling a little bit and we're trying to move forward to get those guys prepared. We just need to focus on the little things."

From his standpoint, Megna has grasped all the little things, which made his high-motor a value commodity to head coach Bret Bielema on special teams. Right after Megna's second-consecutive player of the week honor, Bielema inserted Megna on the special teams depth chart for kickoff, kickoff return and punt return.

"In my special teams unit, (he is) always there because (he) just wants (an) opportunity," Bielema said. "When Blake (Sorensen) went down a week ago with a hamstring, I needed a guy to plug into his role in every area other than personal protector. Tony was a guy that I could grab."

Following the senior leadership in front of him, Megna hears the encouragement everyday from linebackers Jonathan Casillas and DeAndre Levy that his time will come because the coaches recognize hard workers. With the amount of reps he had received already, Megna is already well on his way.

"It's just a privilege to be going against one of the top offense lines in the nation everyday," Megna said. "I look at it as a way for me to get better, start to improve myself for the upcoming spring and get myself on the linebacker depth. I think right now I am playing the best football I have ever played before."


Badger Nation Top Stories