From Role Player to Veteran

It's a good thing junior Patrick Butrym is coming off a season where he set career highs in several defensive categories. After losing four seniors on the interior defensive line, Butrym will be counted on to use his experience so UW's front four don't experience a drop off in production in 2010.

Badger Nation: How has ball gone so far?

Patrick Butrym: That is a tough question (laughs). Right now is really just a time to hone your fundamentals and establish yourself as a leader.

Badger Nation: You're the lone DT returning with experience, how do you approach that role?

Butrym: You just take it and run. Jordan Kohout, he has shown glimpses of being a great player, and he will get it. And the other guys behind us will get it. The freshmen — right now they are usually nervous about screwing up, and I really haven't seen that from Jordan. He has done a really good job with that. He will continue to progress into fall. Anytime I can help him, I do, and he will continue to build his confidence on the way to being a great player.

Badger Nation: Run defense was obviously great last year. How do you maintain that same level with new guys filling in?

Butrym: Jeff Stehle was the most consistent player I have ever seen. You knew what you were getting every day from him. Dan Moore, Jeff, they just developed their fundamentals so consistently that by the end of the year they were playing the best football they have ever played. You just need to look how those guys prepared themselves fundamentally, film, etc…And you take the opportunity and all of the reps that you get in practice, and keep working on fundamentals.

Badger Nation: You showed flashes of great playmaking last season, what do you to take that next step in this regard and become a consistent playmaker every game?

Butrym: Fundamentals, fundamentals and fundamentals. That is the whole basis of the position. What I need to do is hone my fundamentals even more, so I can put myself in position where I can shed the blocker and start making plays.

Badger Nation: How did the winter workouts go?

Butrym: Oh, we never take it easy here. You can't take it easy. I took it easy on the weekends though. But we were hitting it pretty hard in the weight room. Definitely got strong, I feel I am in pretty good shape. I am very happy with that. Getting rid of some of the nicks and bruises, just getting healthy feels nice.

Badger Nation: Any specific goal in the weight room?

Butrym: I want to be a football player. I don't want to worry about numbers, numbers, numbers. I use everything in the weight room to supplement what I can do as a football player. From a weight standpoint, I want to be roughly 300 pounds, and I am on my way there.

Badger Nation: Anything in particular you want to accomplish in the spring game?

Butrym: We need to get ready to showcase our ability as a front seven for UNLV in September. As a line, as a team, we just need to use each rep to get ready.

Badger Nation: Any of the young guys coming to you for advice?

Butrym: Yeah, they do actually. I love giving those guys advice, I really love that they seek it. Once someone gives it to them, you can see them try and apply it out on the field.

Badger Nation: Which person has impressed you the most on the D-line?

Butrym: I am going to go with Louis Nzgewu, because we know what JJ [Watt] can do. Louis is coming out of his shell. I just talked to someone attending practice today, and even he could see it. Louis is going to have a breakout year.

Badger Nation: Favorite part about spring ball?

Butrym: It is competitive. Sometimes it can expose people because it is extremely physical, but you have to embrace that physicality because that is what we are all about. It builds toughness, and just makes you a better football player.

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