Q&A with Dwayne Smith

Dwayne Smith had a tremendous true freshman season, contributing 552 yards rushing and six touchdowns in relief of Anthony Davis. Smith talked with Badger Nation about his offseason and next year.

How would you assess your freshman season?

Smith: It went pretty well. I was able to come in and achieve my goal of playing my first year here and also contribute to the team. I stepped in when (Anthony Davis) came out, if he got hurt in the games…the guys really supported me, both the team and the coaches, and my family as well, so I did what I anticipated doing this year.

Did this year go as you planned going in, or was it better or worse than what you anticipated when you arrived in Madison last summer?

Smith: It didn't go according to my plan, but to be honest I wouldn't change anything that happened this year. I had a learning experience this year and I'm going to make mistakes along the way, so it's not like we're going to be perfect. That's what everybody wants to be is perfect, but everything went according to plan. I wouldn't change anything about the season.

Do you feel like your role will change in 2003, or will you contribute about the same as you did last season?

Smith: I'm not sure at this point. All I know is I'm going to work hard in winter conditioning and work hard throughout the offseason and we'll see how it goes.

With so many great tailbacks in the program right now, do you foresee any position changes for any of the backs? For instance, with the shortage of quality fullbacks, would you be interested in perhaps shifting to fullback? Or do you prefer to stay where you are?

Smith: To be honest, I will do whatever is best for the team so if that's what they need to do, then that's fine. I would prefer to stay at tailback, but whatever is best for the program, I'm willing to do it.

What type of improvements are you working on in the offseason?

Smith: "I want to get better at my speed, get faster. That's basically what I'm trying to do right now. I'm satisfied with my size right now, but I want to work on my speed. That's the first thing I want to do.

Last year, the UW offense was expected to be dominant, but it didn't work out that way, partially because of injuries. Do you feel that this is the year that the offense can live up to some of those expectations?

Smith: Definitely. There are a lot of young guys on this team and we're going to have a lot of guys back. We don't have that many people leaving next year, a small senior class, so we plan on coming back strong. We're going to take the momentum from the bowl game and just run with it.

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