Waynes Out to Prove Himself

Kenosha Bradford safety Trae Waynes has seen what hard work and persistence has done for teammate Melvin Gordon. Now Waynes, who is fresh off visiting Madison for UW's Junior Day, is hoping successful follows him this summer.

MADISON - Being good friends since middle school, Trae Waynes saw first hand how others looked at teammate Melvin Gordon.

"It was funny because when he first started, nobody knew about him and he had to prove himself," Waynes told Badger Nation Sunday. "We worked out a lot after school, hang out a lot, too, and he talked about wanting to work harder."

Gordon has proven himself in the early parts of the 2011 recruiting process, as the Kenosha Bradford tailback is one of only two juniors in the state of Wisconsin to have a scholarship offer from the Badgers. While Gordon has his offer, and ones from Iowa and Minnesota as well, Waynes is starting to take the steps toward proving himself.

One of roughly 50 in-state and out-of-state players invited to Wisconsin's main Junior Day Feb. 27, Waynes and the other guests received a tour of the facilities and the campus, watched the Badgers take part in their winter workouts and heard speeches from Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, Head Coach Bret Bielema, Tight End Coach Joe Rudolph and Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Herbert.

"The workouts were really at a fast tempo," Waynes said. "They never took a break. They all went 100 percent. I liked it because I like to hit people, and it matched how I like to play. I've been up there before, but I liked it a lot better this time because I got to see more."

Waynes also got a chance to listen to mini-speeches from current players and questions and answers thrown in their direction.

"I didn't ask a lot of questions, I just listened, but they had one guy from Florida and one from Texas talk about coming to Madison," Waynes said. "They said they came here for the academics and the sports, and how it was named the best college sports town. They said about when they go down to visit their families, they just want to come back after awhile because they miss it so much. I liked hearing that."

Waynes also got a chance to briefly meet Bielema and Defensive Backs Coach Chris Ash, a familiar face from last summer.

"Coach Bielema walked up and introduced himself when they were training," Waynes said. "That was pretty cool to be able to talk to him.Talking to the new DB coach (Chris Ash) from Iowa State was cool. Me and my dad went there over the summer and met him, so it was a familiar face."

Waynes, who is being recruited strictly as a defensive back at this point, is heading with Gordon to a Nike Combine in May and planning on visiting North Dakota State and head to a one-day camp at Wisconsin, along with some other stops along the way, hoping to prove that his size is a moot point.

"I am undersized wherever I go," Waynes said. "I was one of the smallest guys in Madison, but I didn't really care. I'll hit anybody. I basically have to prove myself and keep going hard."

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