Fully Repaired

After suffering an ACL injury during bowl preparation for the Outback Bowl, sophomore Aaron Henry, fresh off a redshirt season to rehab and rebuild his knee strength, is 100 percent healed and 100 percent anxious to get back on the field.

Badger Nation: How excited are you personally to finally put the injury behind you and be full go?

Aaron Henry: Oh man, words can not truly describe the way I truly feel. It's been a long time coming. Like I've told you guys (media) many, many, many times before, you don't see this day coming when you are in the hospital bed, laying on your back. It's been a long time coming. I am truly blessed to be back out here. I am real excited.

Badger Nation: How much conditioning did you do during the winter and do you feel you are at 100 percent?

AH: Oh yes sir. Most definitely. We've been busting our butts during winter conditioning. It's like a seven-week program that we went through and over spring break, I did some extra stuff at home. I have just been anticipating these practices and it's been everything thus far. I am still trying to get in shape. You can do what you need to do to prepare for football shape, but you never can really prepare yourself until you are out here. Despite what people may say, I was still a little winded and gassed in about all the stuff we've been doing. I am just trying to bet back in a groove in terms of playing football.

Badger Nation: In terms of your injury, do you feel it is back to where it was before the injury or better?

AH: Yes sir. My knee is a whole lot stronger. I truly believe that my right knee is stronger than my left knee. I had surgery on my right knee and it feels 100 percent. I am just ready to get out there and roll. It feels real good. It's more of a mental thing now than a physical one. The mental part is taking care of it.

Badger Nation: What's the mental aspect of this defense right now? You guys lost a lot of seniors and leadership from last year. What is the mindset with a fairly young group?

AH: Bend, but don't break. One year, one goal. We just want to contain people and get better this spring. Despite losing a lot of guys, we're not going to let that hold us back. This year, expect old Badger football. Rough, tough, in-your-face and talking smack. Old-school defense.

Badger Nation: With Allen Langford leaving and Mario Goins being suspended, do you feel the starting position is yours to lose?

AH: I always try to put as much pressure on myself that I can. If it's up to me, I am going to lose the position. Every day I come into practice, whether I am the starter or whether I am the fourth string, I just try to dominant my position. I don't look at who is first on the depth chart or who is second or third. I look at it as every day, at the end of the day, can I ask myself: did I get better? Did I get better as a football player? Did I get better as a cornerback? Despite me getting better, it's up to the coaches to decide who is the starting cornerback. With that being said, I just want to get better everyday this spring. Hopefully, I can be the No.1 by the end of it.

Badger Nation: The front seven has been the group that has been the more experienced in year's past. Is it flipped this year in your eyes?

AH: Yes sir, most definitely, man. We've got a lot of experience on the best end. I think, right now, most of the pressure is on us, because we've got guys that have been back there at least two, maybe three years. So, the front seven has done their job throughout the years, but I guess the pressure is on us, you could say.

Badger Nation: Are you becoming the leaders of the defense?

AH: Most definitely. We hang out with each other; we look up to each other and we push each other every day.

Badger Nation: What's the biggest thing you want to work on this spring?

AH: The biggest thing I want to work on, I would say, is my eyes. A lot of people fail to understand that as a defensive back, you have to have real good eyes. If you have your eyes at the wrong spot at a certain time, that could be the difference from a first down or a touchdown or an interception or a touchdown. I just want to better myself as far as my eyes and my fundamentals. Just like things, like reading my keys or watching the eyes of the quarterback or wide receiver after five yards. In due time, it will all come back.

Badger Nation: How personal are the Florida natives taking the bowl game loss?

AH: Most definitely. Without question. I was a big Florida State fan growing up and in all honesty, they put it on us. I really took that lost to heart and even though I didn't play, I am a Wisconsin Badger. Just seeing them go out there and get beat was just devastating. Devastating.


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