A Big Day for Wozniak

After adding 30 pounds to his frame in just over one year, tight end Brian Wozniak was understandably disappointed with a strained MCL put him on the shelf for two weeks during spring ball. Returning this week with a purpose, Wozniak hopes to instill confidence in his coaching staff with a big spring game today.

Badger Nation: Talking to some people, guys have said that you have put on about 30 pounds since you have arrived here on campus. Can you talk about the decision to add that weight and how you feel that really has benefited you?

Brian Wozniak: I came in at probably around 225 pounds, maybe about 230. I am about 255 right now. The decision to add that weight was something that I had to do. You see a big defensive end like J.J. Watt out there and it's just one of many in the Big Ten. You've got to add that muscle and get bigger and stronger. The decision was a physical one to be able to push those guys around and play against those guys.

Badger Nation: When you went through the recruiting process and you really looked at Wisconsin, was how this school used the tight end position the ultimate selling point for you?

Brian Wozniak: Obviously, the tight ends caught my eye from an early start. It's ‘Tight End U' here. You have two or three guys out there on certain plays. Everything popped out from an offensive point of view. Coach Chryst and Coach Rudolph are great coaches and that made my decision pretty easy.

Badger Nation: How has your relationship with Joe Rudolph changed from being your recruiting contact to your position coach?

Brian Wozniak: It's gotten better. I get to see the guy every day. He's kind of a guy that looks over everything that the tight ends do. He's always asking about our grades, asks about the family first and then talks about football. So, I would say our relationship has grown and really developed into that family mindset in the tight end room.

Badger Nation: You added 30 pounds to get up to 255 pounds. What did you really work on in the winter and when did you reach your target weight of 255?

Brian Wozniak: I reached 240 last year then the start of the spring I reached 250. I can see myself playing at 255 or 260 as long as I can keep my legs running and moving. I don't think much higher than that because our tight ends run so much that you want to move.

Badger Nation: How do you feel physically now with what you are able to do at 255 compared to what you were able to do 225?

Brian Wozniak: At 250, I feel a lot stronger at the point of attack on the block. When I am running, I feel the same, almost more explosive because I have that extra twitch in my muscle. When it comes to blocking, I feel that much stronger and confident.

Badger Nation: What were the big things you learned from scout team when you watched guys like Garrett Graham, Lance Kendricks and Mickey Turner?

Brian Wozniak: You can't learn enough from a guy like Garrett or a guy like Mickey. They are two great players that pay attention to detail and every time they come in to watch film, they put in the extra work. The big thing I learned from watching Garrett is being consistent. He was consistent in everything he did. His first play of the game looked exactly the same as the last play of the game. The big thing from Mickey is learning to be a leader and confident. When I am out there with the second string, try to be a leader in huddle.

Badger Nation: Evaluate if you can how your spring was going before you strained your MCL and how has it been going since you returned? Have you felt you were the same person before missing a couple weeks in the middle?

Brian Wozniak: Before the injury, I was confident about all the plays and coming in and getting the play recognition was nice. The when I got hurt, I still knew all the plays, but not having those all-the-time reps makes you lose a little bit when you are injured. You lose what you knew on the field. Once I got back and get back to running every play in the system, I'll be fine.

Badger Nation: Is the big thing you are battling consistency and learning all the plays?

Brian Wozniak: Coming in to this offense, it's a great offense and a very complex offense. Tight ends are always shifting and motioning, so learning the plays have been a very big key for me. Once I get that down and it becomes second nature, it will really flow for me.

Badger Nation: Is the spring game another practice for you and a chance to get better or is it something more, being a chance to impress with fans in the stands?

Brian Wozniak: I think for a guy like me, it's really my first chance to impress somebody. You look at a guy like J.J., he's coming in to do his work. It's like a work day for him so he gets everything done he needs to. For me, it's one of those things that I need to come in and do work, show that I can block a guy like J.J. and show I can play Division 1 college football at a high level.

Badger Nation: Are you a big believer that a good spring game set you up for something in the fall?

Brian Wozniak: My goal right now moving forward is to get healthy, get this knee right, but definitely, the first week I played in spring and this last week can show the coaches that this is one of the guys we can count on. Even if we can't get him in the rotation now, we can put him on special teams because he can work his (butt) off. This week is definitely big for me to get my confidence back in my coaches.

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