Battling Through

Although it was admittedly tough to watch other members of his recruiting class have a chance to make an impact in their first season, redshirt freshman Marcus Cromartie's hard work has paid off, as the cornerback has been around the football making plays since the beginning of camp.

Badger Nation: How was your redshirt season? Obviously you want to get on the field and contribute, but what strides did you make watching?

Marcus Cromartie: Honestly, it's tough. It's really tough, just seeing the people that come with you playing and you are using your redshirt. It's tough, but I look back on it and I found it as a time to build mentally as a player and built physically as a player. It was a good time to get in the weight room, put on an extra few pounds, and I feel healthy and I am ready to play.

BN: You mentioned watching people from your class play. Is it tough watching Antonio Fenelus or Devin Smith get a chance to play right away and you don't?

MC: It's tough, but you've got to understand that everyone came here and everyone has the same goal of going to the NFL. You always have that chip on your shoulder and you always have got to keep competing. I am not going to let those things get in the way. He's a good guy. I like Antonio because he's a good friend. We all know that when we are on the field, we are there to compete and when we're off the field, we're there as friends. We just keep on competing. I don't try to see it as hard feelings or anything like that.

BN: How hard did you attack the weight room? Did you hit it pretty good?

MC: I think I did. I got up to around 191 pounds during winter conditioning. I am probably down to 187 right now. I just feel that I am physically ready to play and (new strength coach Ben) Herb(ert) is a good guy. He got us right not only with weight, but just with strength. A lot of people fool weight for strength. I feel that he mentally prepared us along with physically prepared us for what we're going to endure in the fall.

BN: Has that been Herbert's main message to build your weight and your strength?

MC: Yeah. With Herb, it's about mental toughness. We had things that we did that really challenged us mentally where it's to not give out and to keep striding. I feel that he got a lot of the workouts, a lot the time during the winter.

BN: You are one of the few recruits that get the pleasure of being coaches by your recruiting coach. What does that mean to you to have that special connection with Coach Cooks?

MC: I know one thing and that's we have known each other for a long time. I first met Coach Cooks probably May of my junior year. I've been knowing him for close to two years now. He's from Texas, so we share some mutual understanding with a lot of things. Even when I have problems with school or whatnot or just problems in life, he is always there to help me out and I appreciate him for that.

BN: When you looked at yourself in the mirror before the very first practice, what were some things that you knew you needed to get better at and now when you look at yourself 14 practices later, which of those areas have you made strides in?

MC: I know one was to be sound in my technique. Not only that, but to be consistent in my technique. Being a d-b is being consistent. I know that there are a few times this spring where I had really good practices and a few times that I know that I could have done better. I am trying to build my consistency and my technique and keep on competing. I know it's going to get there, I just have to be patient.

BN: Have you felt yourself get more consistent as you've progressed this spring and in which areas do you felt you have been the most consistent?

MC: Well, I feel that one is that I feel that I am always around the ball. A big part of being a d-b is always being around the ball. I feel that I can be better at my technique some times, but I feel that I make plays. I just have to keep on building what I am and I know that they (the coaches) are going to see something in me and they are going to get me ready for the fall.

BN: This is your first spring game. Are you going to try to approach it as a practice or are you going to look at it being your first opportunity to play in front of people in Camp Randall and show them what you are capable of?

MC: When I look at any practice or game, I think of it as a time for me to get better. Every practice, you are either getting better or worse, whether it's your technique or your play. I am going to use the things I learned in the previous 14 practices and try to go out there and just compete. You can't do nothing else but play. I feel that a good spring game will put me in great position to compete in the fall.

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