Tyler Dippel: It was a very nice. It was a very nice time with both of my parents. It was a busy three days. When we first got there on Friday, we checked into our hotel and went to the football banquet that night. We got to go and join 2,000 Badger fans, parents, alumni and supporters and they had a lot of people speak as they honored the seniors. It was really nice.
After that, I met with my host, Patrick Butrym, and he was a very nice guy. He took us out, showed us the town, showed us the dorm rooms and around town and had a great time that night.
Saturday was a real busy day going all over. After breakfast, we met with our academic advisers about the direction we wanted to go in when we got up to campus. After that, we had a strength and conditioning presentation by Coach Dettman and got to see the weight room and the way they train and strength and condition the body. After lunch, we headed to the basketball game and had a good time. At halftime, we had a very nice dinner in the Kohl Center and met with our hosts, who was Brendan Kelly for me on Saturday. We went out again and he showed me his dorm room and went out with the other players.
Sunday was a lot of fun too, as we all drove to Coach Bielema's house and had a real nice breakfast and enjoyed the time. We had a little one-on-one time with Coach Bielema in his office with each player and their family, talking about coming here next season and about expectations and about playing. Overall, it was an awesome trip and I had a lot of fun talking to Coach Partridge, who was one of the main reasons I wanted to come to Wisconsin. He's a great, energetic coach who loves his players.
BN: What were some of the expectations Coach Bielema gave to you when you talked to him with your family?
TD: He told that me that, especially with a lot of injuries on the defensive line and the caliber of players on the senior level that are leaving the line, doors are going to open up and that he needs the guys coming in to step up. He basically said that he's not promising anything, but that he needs guys to come in, work hard and earn spots. That's really something that I want to achieve, want to do and that's something I want to try and achieve. I feel that I have a good chance of playing this year, if not next year, for this team. He expects me to work hard and come into camp in June and earn a spot.
BN:You had two hosts that play your projected position while other players aren't that lucky. What were some of the hints, tips or tricks that those guys gave you in order for you to be prepared for next season in order to get some of that playing time?
TD: They told me that I need to be ready to work and that's good. That's something I am excited about so I am glad they said that. Coach Partridge and the defensive line coaching staff really works you and makes sure that the d-line is prepared and some of the most well conditioned guys on the team. All of that makes me really excited. On top of that, all they had was good things to say about Coach Partridge and the whole coaching staff all together, which really excites me and makes me ready to get up there.
BN: You touched on it but what about Coach Partridge makes it seem like he is your favorite guy to talk to, to play for and be taught by?
TD: He's not the kind of coach that is going to get in your face and scream at you. He's an intense coach, but he's intense that he is going to encourage you and encourage you not to make mistakes. He's got simple guidelines – minimize your mistakes and play as hard as you can. If you do those things, you're going to play for him and he'll respect you.
TD: It was really cool. It made me thing what I am going to do when I am in that position and being honored like that. To see the things they've done over there years at Wisconsin and things they have achieved, it makes me want to achieve that and higher. I hung out with Shaughnessy when I was with my host and he is a great guy. All of the players that are graduating makes you excited to be coming to Wisconsin and be the best player that you can. It really showed that they care about their seniors at Wisconsin because they really honored them at the banquet.
BN: You were with 10 other commits from the class of 2009. Had you known any of those guys before coming on your official visit? What was it like getting to know those guys a little bit better?
TD: I've known a few of them – Shelby Harris, Jordan Kohout, Ryan Groy and Travis Frederick, guys that I have seen at games before. It was cool meeting guys like Conor O'Neal who was on his official visit, Josh Prepah was a fun guy from Texas and Chris Borland. It was nice to meet all those new guys and build a relationship because those are the guys that you are going to be spending time with the next four, five years.
BN: You had so much going on this weekend, but what is the one thing that really makes you excited to get up to Madison and start working out with the team in the summer?
TD: I really think mainly Coach Partridge and when we had our position meetings, the way he sat in there and talked about his defensive line and his dream about an eight-man rotation and just wear on people, to see how excited he is made me excited. That was probably the main thing but the other thing was the player panel when the coaches left the room and it was just the kids, the parents and the players. They were all being totally honest when they said how much they love this school and this program. It just really makes me want to get in there and work my butt off.