Nearly every question one would ask to Brookfield Central head football coach Doug Lange about his prize athlete, junior captain Bryce Gilbert, end with that phrase.
Once a 6-foot, 250 lineman that had all the right tools to compete, Gilbert is now a 6-foot-2, 277-pound defensive lineman that has turned heads with his highlight film, has motivated his teammates by his work ethic and is starting to become coveted on the recruiting landscape.
Now with the spring evaluation period coming to a close, Gilbert has another BCS offer to consider, as Indiana has extended offer to the talented athlete and Iowa, according to Lange, appears to be in the mix, as well.
Gilbert is the fifth in-state prospect in the 2010 recruiting class to receive an offer from Wisconsin, joining Will Hagerup (Whitefish Bay), Mike Hardy (Kimberly), Marquis Mason (Madison East) and Konrad Zagzebski (D.C. Everest), the latter two are the only two verbal commits for Wisconsin's 2010 class.
Talking with Badger Nation, Lange goes in depth about Gilbert's talents, his transformation and what kind of player he can be.
Badger Nation: What was Bryce's reaction when he told you about the Wisconsin offer? Was he at all surprised or was he expecting UW to offer?
Doug Lange: I think any kid is surprised and very happy about an offer from an in-state, Big Ten school. He's got roots in Iowa, so that always keeps things interesting. Indiana just offered and that will keep things more interesting. Not counting the I-AA schools that are recruiting him, like Northern Iowa, who was very impressed by him at their Junior Day, he's going to have a lot of people looking at him.
Badger Nation: What kind of numbers did he put up for you during his junior year? Was he pretty consistent for you all year?
Lange: Absolutely. He was probably one of our more consistent kids on the team. We won the conference last year and went to level two in the playoffs and he was our mainstay on defense. We do platoon, so he only played defense and he got better every week.
Badger Nation: Has he always been consistent for you or did that come after a lot of hard work in the off season and it began to show that he could be that consistent lineman for you?
Lange: Basically, he was a very good JV player as a sophomore. Then that winter and that weight room session, those nine months, he went from being a kind-of soft big kid that loved playing football to suddenly a young man that was playing football. He moves his body weight around. He was about 250 as a sophomore and he played last year at 265. Now he's up to 280 pounds and quite honestly, were going to play him a little bit at guard besides defensive tackle this year. We're going to see how much we can get out of him without hurting his defense. We would like to play him 40 percent on offense and 100 percent on defense, so we're really working on him with cardiovascular stuff but when you look at him, the work he has already put in speaks for itself. It's real impressive.
Badger Nation: Are colleges looking at him as an offensive lineman or primarily as a defensive lineman?
Lange: It's strictly defensive line. You look at his highlight tape, it's phenomenal from last year. It speaks for itself.
Badger Nation: You mention how consistent he is and what he can do with certain things. What part of his game can really translate well into the college game and make him stand out?
Lange: I think right now it is his quick feet. He's very athletic, very agile and normally in high school, you have a kid that weighs 280, he's not going to be a good pursuit kid. This kid is solid and can fill the gaps.
Badger Nation: It seems like Bryce is a good kid to coach because he takes football seriously and he is pretty determined to make an impact by what he did in the weight room?
Lange: Absolutely. He's a wrestler and we had a very good super heavyweight last year who was a senior, two years all-conference. Bryce just bid his time, did a lot of lifting, lot of running and a lot of speed stuff. He's in track right now and he's trying to make a crack into the varsity for shot putting. He can throw it a good 51 feet, which would be a good at a lot of schools to make varsity. He just smiles and goes back to the weight room to do his thing there. He is a great, good-natured kid that has a huge heart. If you met him, you would never put that with the stuff you see on the tape.
Badger Nation: Brookfield Central has produced a lot of good Badger football talents over the years, namely Joe Thomas. Can Bryce Gilbert be a good college player like some of the kids that have come out of your school? Does he fit that mold?
Lange: I think he does and he can. He's an extremely hard worker. There's no question that Wisconsin offered him because, I think, they know that he hasn't reached his limit. Who knows how good this kid can be? He's just a great kid to be around, a great kid to work with. He's a very quiet leader, but his play speaks volumes.
We do have some good players in Madison. Bradley Nortman is up there and doing fine. Rob Korslin is a walk-on tight end and doing things with the special teams. That fearsome threesome with Ben Strickland, Joe Thomas and Steve Johnson was just phenomenal and broke the ice for a lot of schools and certainly are representative of our school. I can't wait to see where he goes and see how he plays but right now, I just want to see him play for Brookfield Central. He's ready to play.