Looking to be the Tone Setter

After spending his redshirt season studying under seniors Chris Pressley and Bill Rentmeester, redshirt freshman fullback Dex Jones is anxious for his opportunity to earn the position, and become a tone setter for Wisconsin's running game.

Badger Nation: The fullback position is wide open now. Is that something that you are focusing in on during the spring that you have the opportunity to learn this position and step right in?

Dex Jones: Yeah, a little bit. I am just excited for the opportunity. I am still trying to learn a little bit. I took a little bit from Chris and Billy last year and I am learning behind Mickey Turner right now and what he can bring me. I am just excited to learn the position and step in and help the team.

Badger Nation: When Wisconsin recruited you, did they recruit you as a fullback? When did you first moving to that position come about?

DJ: They definitely mentioned it when they were recruiting me that they would like to have me at fullback. At first, I thought it was a little iffy. I figured it was a great program, a great school and I just wanted to help the team get a little better. I think I bring an athletic part to the fullback position. Wisconsin definitely recruited me as a fullback.

Badger Nation: What's the biggest thing that you worked on during your redshirt year to get ready to play the position?

DJ: It was definitely a progression of everything. During the summer when I first got up here, it was definitely getting bigger and putting on some weight and getting a lot stronger. Came into fall camp, I was definitely learning the playbook and learning all the plays. After fall camp during my redshirt season, it was getting use to the speed of the game and getting use to playing against Division I athletes.

Badger Nation: Do you feel pretty comfortable where you are now after you've had a year to sit and observe? Do you feel that you are ready to step in and how important are these 15 practices going to be for you?

DJ: I think I am very capable of stepping into this role. I think these 15 practices really critique me and help me with the little things like how deep I need to be, what foot I have to step with, head placement. I am really looking forward to these practices to critique me to perfection.

Badger Nation: Chris and Bill are at two opposite ends of the spectrum, but they both had that distinct work ethic. Can you talk about what you absorbed from both of them and what characteristics of them you are trying to incorporate into your game?

DJ: They definitely brought a physical aspect to me. Playing at my high school, we ran a spread offense, completely different from Wisconsin. They definitely taught me right away that this is a physical program and we run the ball. The biggest thing is be physical and fight.

Badger Nation: This is a running, more traditional offense. In your eyes, how important is the fullback position to the success of this offense?

DJ: I think obviously that it's very important. Year in and year out, we've had great running backs from Anthony Davis to P.J. Hill to John Clay. I think the fullback helps and brings another option into the offense. The fullback is the tone setter. We got to know where everyone is it on the whole defense and set the tone.

Badger Nation: Do you feel that you are at that stage when you can go out and be a tone setter? Do you have the capabilities to do that right now or do you still need to find your voice?

DJ: These 15 practices are definitely helping me to find out where I fit in at and where I can be the tone setter. We obviously have older guys in Zach Brown and John Clay that will be the biggest voice of the offense. I think physically and when it comes down to doing your job, I am hoping to be able to step in and be a tone setter on the offense.

Badger Nation: What's the biggest thing that Coach Settle has told you or critiqued you on? What's the biggest thing he wants you to work on as you move forward?

DJ: Consistency and to just be perfect in everything I do. He definitely demands a lot out of us and pushed me a lot and he's really expecting a lot out of us. He told me to be able to expect the best out of myself.

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