March 29, 2009

Jefferson enters spring focused

MADISON, Wis. - As a true freshman, Kyle Jefferson made an immediate impact with the Wisconsin wide receiver unit. His 412 receiving yards that season was fifth best all-time for any freshman receiver in school history.

During his sophomore season, though, Jefferson went through a bit of a slump. Now, as an upperclassmen on a relatively deep unit, the Ohio native looks to return to his freshman form and have a major impact out wide in 2009.

Following Saturday's practice, caught up with Jefferson. The following is a question and answer with him:

With the first day of pads, how does it feel just to get back out here this week with spring ball and pads today?

Jefferson: It's fine. I mean, the transition is really easy, it doesn't bother me. I'm just having fun and trying to get better.

Looking back at last year, did it go how you had expected it to?

Jefferson: No. Things came up, I got hurt and I had the concussion. So, things didn't go as well as I thought they would go. But, I was able to finish the season and that was most important.

Does that kind of motivate you for the spring?

Jefferson: Yeah, that and just to know that my time is short. I'm an older guy now and I just want to help my team. We got a lot of goals and stuff that we haven't completed and I want to get that done before we all depart from here.

Do you look at yourself as the leader of the wide receiver group?

Jefferson: Yes, sir.

How do you portray that leadership role?

Jefferson: Nothing, just go about my business as a business person. Just encourage my teammates and help them. Just show them that we are all about business and we all about making plays and improving.

Were you running track this year? How did that go?

Jefferson: It went well. I finished fourth in the Big 10 in the four-by-four. I did a couple of things. I missed nationals by a couple of seconds, but it was a pretty good experience.

How tough is it to do both sports going from football right into track? Or is it similar?

Jefferson: It's alright. I had great coaching from the coaches and then from (Ben) Herbert in the weight room. We kind of worked together and we were all satisfied. I was able to put on weight and still be able to run fast and different things.

How much weight have you put on?

Jefferson: I put on 12 pounds.

Is that through the new strength and conditioning program that they have? How did you like that?

Jefferson: I love it. It's good. We stay motivated, stay in tune to it. Herb is kind of young, he's not that old, so he brings excitement into the weight room just like we do.

Do you kind of relate with a guy when he is younger like that?

Jefferson: Yeah, most definitely but he's just younger. J.D. (John Dettman) was a great guy too. Herb learned from the best, but he's just younger and able to bring more energy.

Going back to track, how does that help your confidence on the football field?

Jefferson: It just keeps you mentally sharp. Track is more about yourself and this is as a team, but you also have to be about yourself too. So, it keeps you mentally sharp and keeps you attacking. It keeps you on top of your game so you don't get lazy and get condensed. Seven weeks is a long time before you put on some more pads so it keeps you into it.

Through your progression here, would you say this is the deepest the receiving unit has been?

Jefferson: Yeah, since I've been here since my freshman year, it's been pretty deep. We have six or seven strong. When Daven Jones and Maurice Moore get healthy, they'll be strong, too. So we'll have depth.

What's the potential of this unit?

Jefferson: We can be the greatest or we could be averagely good.

How do you make sure to go about becoming one of the better ones?

Jefferson: Just improving everyday and take what we learn in the meetings and put it on the field. Take what coach is telling you and just learn from it because he's telling us right. He shows us the film and we watch the film. He shows us the good and also the bad not from this year or last year but from four or five years ago. He shows us the good and the bad and that helps us improve.

The following is the audio file of the Jefferson interview:

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