December 15, 2008

Konz still adjusting to college game

MADISON, Wis. - With three senior offensive linemen about to play their final game in a Wisconsin uniform, young linemen such as Peter Konz seem to be next in line as next season approaches.

After practice earlier in the weekend, caught up with the freshman. The following is a question and answer with the Konz:

Now that the first season is starting to come to and end, how would you say it went for you?

Konz: I definitely learned a lot. The speed of the game, you cannot even think about. I see all these recruits and I just see myself last year thinking, 'okay, I can adjust,' but it took a lot longer than I thought just because there are so many more moves, guys are a lot faster and more physical.

How would you say that you improved from fall camp to where you are today?

Konz: I definitely improved, just every day going through scout team and going against them on defense, it definitely helps your footwork. I think balance was a huge issue for me. When you're always going fast, you tend to get off balance and lose your feet, but towards the end of the year, I got a lot better.

Through the bowl prep practices, a couple have been devoted completely to developmental work. The other day, coach Bret Bielema said that really got some of the scout team guys fired up. What's your take on that?

Konz: Getting off the scout and getting off to where they expect you to just run the other teams plays, being able to run your own and really have fun with it. It's kind of like our own game. Of course you know, as redshirt you're on the bench, but getting in there is kind of like our own mini-game where we just kind of want to get fired up and hit somebody.

Was it frustrating at all for being on the scout team all year. I mean going from always playing throughout your high school career to being a redshirt and only practicing, how tough was that for you?

Konz: At first, it was very stressful never being in that situation before. I just decided to learn from it, just take in as much as I can just physically. When you're going against them with the other teams plays you can't really learn much about your own plays, but you can definitely work physically with your footwork.

What have you learned from the Andy Kemp's, the Kraig Urbik's and Eric Vandenheuvel's this season?

Konz: Too much, I don't know if I can tell you all. Just how they play physically and how they carry themselves. I know the Ohio State was a tough game and even the last one, we're going to overtime against a team we probably should have beaten (by more). But just their character and how they stuck with it the whole time. Just who cares what everyone else thinks, it's what we got to do. I think that's the biggest thing I can take from them.

Even with the redshirt, was the game day experience everything you hoped for?

Konz: Everything and more. Just the fans, period, were everything I hoped for. Just coming out of the stadium, once in a lifetime experience, with the sea of red just cheering.

What have the coaches been telling you, especially after this year when the line loses three players. What have they been saying to you as we move toward spring ball?

Konz: They haven't said much. Just right now we have to focus on Florida State and we need to improve. We've been given all these developmentals that's what I need to work on the most is learning our plays. That will carry on in the spring where I can put myself in a position.

How exciting is it knowing you guys will be playing Florida State in Florida, even though you won't be able to play?

Konz: Well I got a story about that. My mom's boyfriend is a huge Florida State fan. Immediately when I found out, you knew this was going to happen, so I texted him and said like, 'no way, no way.' You have to be on our side for this game, you know, if I'm giving them a ticket. I think you better cheer for us.

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