Looking for Work

Getting four starts at two different positions in his true freshman season, Travis Frederick main goal last spring was to get his feet wet. With the experience he received, Frederick's task now is to use that knowledge to fight for a starting job, especially with the injuries keeping key personnel out.

Badger Nation: You came into last spring wit your eyes wide open. I assume this year is a more calming experience for you because you know the expectations from Coach Bostad and the coaching staff?

Travis Frederick: It's a lot different. Coming in and being through the whole season, I am not a rookie anymore and I need to go out and take a leadership role, especially at center. The big things I am working at now is the more mental things – picking up the blitzes, seeing where they are coming from, which blitz is coming here and where everyone is moving. It's my job to be able to recognize those and make everybody else aware of us so we can move and work at that. That's the biggest thing I am working on as well as technique and things like that. For me, it's a lot different where I am not trying to learn everything anymore. I am trying to pick, teach and move into a leadership position.

Badger Nation: Did you live in the film room this past winter?

Travis Frederick: I spent a decent amount of time in the film room because at center, you need to know those things. You need to see the looks and know what they are talking about. So, we have a little room downstairs that is usually pretty quiet during the winter. I went down there, watched a lot of film and that helped a lot I think.

Badger Nation: Do you watch a lot of yourself, a lot of John Moffitt, Peter Konz, other teams? What do you watch and what do you absorb?

Travis Frederick: It's really good to watch us and our team, that way you can see our looks against other people. Sometimes you watch scout film and see what other teams are going to do to you, but the best looks I can get is watching John or Pete even, watching our looks against a defense and the different changes they are going to bring against us. Watching two separate teams play, teams are going to react differently with a different style offense. It's good for me to watch that Wisconsin film.

Badger Nation: What was the big thing you got out of the two games you started at the beginning of the year at center, what was big thing you got out of the two games you started at the end of the year at left guard?

Travis Frederick: I think out of the first two games, I got experience and settling in, learning to play the game. I didn't play much of the second game because I got hurt, but I think that first game I learned how to play at this level. The last two games, I have seen it on film, I improved greatly and learned to just go out there and do my thing instead of worry about who is going where. When you can just go out there and play and have it be second nature, that's what is going to make you excel.

Badger Nation: Winning a bowl game is a big thing for a team because that carries into the offseason workouts. I can imagine you playing in the bowl game going against a good Miami team was a big thing for you and your confidence?

Travis Frederick: Absolutely. It's great to go against competition like that. I was a little nervous going in but to come out of that game winning and feeling like I did OK, that's a big boost for me. That helped in the winter knowing that I can come out here and compete for a job and compete for a leadership role. I think that's the biggest thing that helped me in that game.

Badger Nation: Besides the obvious thing with experience, how are you different from the person that came in here in the spring? What changes have you made heading into your second year?

Travis Frederick: Really, I just had to be more calm and more relaxed when I am playing. I think that's a big thing because you just have to go out there and do your thing. I think that's the biggest change that I hope you accomplish this year, that I can just go out there and play the game instead of thinking about what's happening. I want to see a blitz and not have to worry what's going to happen here, but to know that we are going to stop it and why. That's going to allow me to take a leadership role.

Badger Nation: What's happening with you right now?

Travis Frederick: I am down 15 pounds (to around 320) and I am primarily at center, but I have played left and right guard and center in camp. We'll see how that all pans out when the injured guys come back.

Badger Nation: With Moffitt out in the fall, you really stepped up and took the reigns to put you in position to start. With Konz out, you have that chance again. Last spring was important to find your comfort level. This spring is important because you are fighting for a job, right?

Travis Frederick: Absolutely. I am fighting. This whole spring was about me fighting for a job and this whole summer is about me wanting a job with the guys being out. I have to go out there and play at the highest level that I can. We have Bill Nagy back, so that adds another guy to the mix. We have three or four or five guys competing for three spots, so that's going to bring a lot of competition. I think that's when you are getting the biggest gains, because you are competing and getting ready to go.

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