Antonio Fenelus: (laughing). Yeah, I survived. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I thought I wouldn't be able to go outside. I got enough winter clothing, so I was all right.
BN: How would you evaluate your first season? You get thrown right into the fire with special teams and some work with the secondary. Were you pleased with last season from a personal standpoint with what you were able to accomplish?
AF: My goal coming in, I came in during the summer, my goal was to try to be a starter and if not, get into the rotation. Well, I ended up spraining my ankle and being out for two-and-a-half weeks. I wasn't able to fight for that starting job or whatever after that. I just tried to do my thing on special teams and try to make a couple plays to show them that I am ready to play. I made the best of my abilities wherever they put me on the field. I tried to go all out.
BN: That was one of the main reasons you picked Wisconsin, right? You saw the ability to be able to step right in and be able to contribute?
AF: Yeah. I chose Wisconsin over Florida Atlantic. FAU was telling me that I was probably going to redshirt my freshman year. Wisconsin was telling me that if I come in and compete, I would be able to fight for that job.
BN: Were you happy with all the game knowledge that you got from playing that first year instead of sitting out? What did you take from that game experience?
AF: I was kind of glad that I didn't redshirt, even though I didn't play that much on defense. I was glad because I saw how hard the hits hard and seeing what I am going to be going against this upcoming season. I wasn't upset about not redshirting.
BN: How did you spend your off season? What was the main thing you guys really focused on? Did you spend a lot of time in the weight room, watching film or seeking out guys for help?
AF: My off season, I was basically trying to just get stronger, work on my hops and my back pedaling. That's the thing that you need to do to get on defense.
BN: What things have you taken from Aaron Henry? I know you guys have been close ever since he was your host on your recruiting visit. Is he the guy you look to and ask questions to?
AF: Yeah, Aaron is a very smart player. He knows what he is talking about. He's definitely a guy I look up to. He knows a lot a lot football. He's been playing his whole life. He's a great defensive back.
BN: What steps have you made during these 14 practices that maybe you were struggling with at the beginning of spring but now, you have down pat?
AF: I made a lot of strides. In the summer, I used to get yelled at a lot because as a freshman, they want to pack all this stuff on you and expect you to know everything on day one, day two, day three. This spring, I was able to take the installs and focus more on my technique that knowing what coverage I am supposed to be in or how I have to play this.
BN: Are you becoming closer to being a shutdown cornerback? How do you view your progress in terms of getting to that level?
AF: I would say that since I got here, I've gotten a lot better. I wouldn't say that I am a shutdown corner yet. But, I am working my way up there.
BN: When you look at the spring game, do you approach it as the 15th practice? You take it as a workout or an opportunity to get fans excited about what you bring to the table and what this defense brings to the table?
AF: Yeah, I take it as if it was another game. We're going against each other, but we're going against each other, we're playing against each other, but we have to make plays and show the coaches what we can do and what you want to do next year during the season.
BN: What's the biggest step you need to make in the off season to find yourself in the starting rotation and not just in the nickel package?
AF: I would say my biggest step is just staying on top of my keys. My coach always tells me that I need to get better with my fundamentals and my technique. So in the off season, I am going to keep working on my back pedaling, opening my hips, my speed, my turning and all that stuff.