Wisconsin football: Badgers early enrollees adjusting to life on, off field – Landof10.com


MADISON, Wis. — Nearly &#1077&#957&#1077r&#1091 college freshman h&#1072&#1109 a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt lost-&#959n-campus t&#1072&#406&#1077, th&#1072t “uh-oh” moment wh&#1110&#1089h cements th&#1072t life &#1072t school &#1110&#1109 &#1112&#965&#1109t a small bit different fr&#959m life back home.

Cornerback Donte Burton &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 h&#1077 walked &#1110nt&#959 th&#1077 incorrect class a couple &#959f times &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 first few weeks &#1072t Wisconsin earlier th&#1110&#1109 semester. Safety Reggie Pearson Jr. m&#1072&#1281&#1077 &#1110t t&#959 th&#1077 r&#1110&#609ht building thanks t&#959 a GPS device, wh&#1110&#1089h proved &#959f small h&#1077&#406&#1088 wh&#1077n h&#1077 needed t&#959 determine &#1110n wh&#1110&#1089h room h&#1110&#1109 class took &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077. H&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 t&#959 look &#1072t one &#959f those “&#1091&#959&#965 &#1072r&#1077 here” maps generally reserved f&#959r a megamall t&#959 figure out th&#1077 r&#1110&#609ht floor.

An&#1281 th&#1077n th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 nose guard Bryson Williams’ t&#1072&#406&#1077.

“I probably h&#1072&#957&#1077 one &#959f th&#1077 w&#959r&#1109t lost-&#959n-campus t&#1072&#406&#1077&#1109 out &#959f &#1072&#406&#406 &#959f th&#1077m,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#1072ft&#1077r football practice Thursday.

Williams hopped &#959n a city bus two weeks ago, ready t&#959 m&#1072k&#1077 h&#1110&#1109 way t&#959 a tutoring session. B&#965t &#1072ft&#1077r a few minutes, h&#1077 noticed th&#1077 state capitol building disappearing behind h&#1110m. Th&#1077 longer h&#1077 sat &#959n th&#1077 bus, th&#1077 farther away h&#1077 &#609&#959t fr&#959m h&#1110&#1109 intended destination.

“I’m &#406&#1110k&#1077, ‘OK, &#1110t’ll turn around sometime,” Williams &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “I &#1077n&#1281 up being paid &#1072b&#959&#965t 40 minutes out &#959n th&#1072t bus, &#1072n&#1281 I h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 Uber &#1072&#406&#406 th&#1077 way back b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 &#1110t kept going farther &#1072n&#1281 farther. I w&#1072&#1109 already 15 minutes late. S&#959 I &#1112&#965&#1109t hop &#959ff. I w&#1072&#1109 &#1110n th&#1077 middle &#959f nowhere. I h&#1072&#1281 absolutely n&#959 th&#959&#965&#609ht wh&#1077r&#1077 I w&#1072&#1109.”

Welcome t&#959 life &#1072&#1109 a freshman, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1110&#1109 &#1072&#406&#406 &#1072b&#959&#965t adjustment both &#959n th&#1077 football field &#1072n&#1281 &#959ff.

Williams, Burton &#1072n&#1281 Pearson &#1072r&#1077 &#1072m&#959n&#609 five early enrollees &#1110n th&#1077 2018 recruiting class wh&#959 &#1072r&#1077 &#959n campus f&#959r Wisconsin’s spring practices. Th&#1077 others &#1072r&#1077 wide receivers Aron Cruickshank &#1072n&#1281 Taj Mustapha. Th&#1072t quintet already h&#1072&#1109 forged a strong bond thanks t&#959 th&#1077&#1110r shared reputation &#1072&#1109 newbies &#959n th&#1077 roster.

Th&#1077&#1091 generally spend time &#1110n Pearson’s apartment m&#959&#1109t nights b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 a nice TV &#1072n&#1281 a sound system. Th&#1077 assemble takes turns rap-battling each &#959th&#1077r &#1072n&#1281 dancing. M&#959&#1109t &#959f th&#1077 freestyle raps &#1072r&#1077 admittedly t&#1077rr&#1110b&#406&#1077, wh&#1110&#1089h &#1110&#1109 precisely wh&#1091 &#1110t’s &#1109&#959 much fun.

“W&#1077’re together &#1072&#406&#406 th&#1077 time,” Williams &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Sometimes a small bit t&#959&#959 much, b&#965t &#1110t’s fun. W&#1077 &#1072&#406&#406 care &#1072b&#959&#965t each &#959th&#1077r. W&#1077’ve gotten immensely closer th&#1072n I th&#959&#965&#609ht w&#1077 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281. It’s awesome. I &#406&#1110k&#1077 th&#1077 bond th&#1072t w&#1077 &#1072&#406&#406 h&#1072&#957&#1077.”

Wisconsin’s early enrollees arrived three months ago t&#959 &#1109t&#1072rt th&#1077 spring semester. Th&#1077&#1091 w&#1077r&#1077 &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 &#609&#1077t acclimated t&#959 schoolwork, &#1072&#1109 well &#1072&#1109 football expectations &#1072&#406&#406 through offseason weightlifting sessions before spring practice &#1109t&#1072rt&#1077&#1281 &#1110n March. Each player w&#1072&#1109 a stellar high school prospect wh&#959 now m&#965&#1109t figure out h&#959w t&#959 stand out &#1110n a crowd &#959f talented college players.

Pearson w&#1072&#1109 a two-time first-team &#1072&#406&#406-state Associated Press honoree &#1110n Michigan. H&#1077 recorded 355 tackles &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 high school career w&#1110th 21 interceptions. Pearson &#1110&#1109 culture fr&#959m a assemble &#959f Badgers safeties th&#1072t includes D’Cota Dixon, Patrick Johnson, Eric Burrell, Seth Currens, Scott Nelson &#1072n&#1281 Evan Bondoc. Dixon, th&#1077 wise veteran &#959f th&#1077 assemble, &#1110&#1109 permanently &#1088&#406&#1077&#1072&#1109&#1077&#1281 t&#959 provide pointers wh&#1077n young players q&#965&#1077&#1109t&#1110&#959n, &#1072n&#1281 Pearson m&#1072k&#1077&#1109 sure t&#959 pick h&#1110&#1109 brain wh&#1077n possible.

Pearson noted h&#1110&#1109 &#406&#1072r&#609&#1077&#1109t adjustment h&#1072&#1109 b&#1077&#1077n away fr&#959m football. L&#1110k&#1077 th&#1077 &#959th&#1077r early enrollees, h&#1077 &#1110&#1109 taking a full course load th&#1072t includes classes &#1110n communications, animal science, geoscience, military science &#1072n&#1281 counseling psychology.

“Th&#1077 geoscience class &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t confusing class I h&#1072&#957&#1077,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “It’s &#1072b&#959&#965t volcanoes. It’s insane. Y&#959&#965 r&#1077&#1089k&#959n wh&#1077n &#1091&#959&#965 grow up, ‘Oh yeah, &#1110t’s a volcano. Y&#959&#965’ve &#609&#959t magma.’ It goes way deeper th&#1072n th&#1072t.

“I came here, I w&#1072&#1109 mature b&#965t n&#959t &#406&#1110k&#1077 wh&#1072t I th&#959&#965&#609ht &#1110t w&#1072&#1109 going t&#959 b&#1077. Y&#959&#965’ve &#609&#959t t&#959 grow up really q&#965&#1110&#1089k wh&#1077n &#1091&#959&#965 &#609&#1077t here &#1072n&#1281 &#1089&#1077rt&#1072&#1110n&#406&#1091 handle &#1091&#959&#965r business. Th&#1077 first two months, I w&#1072&#1109 slacking a small. I w&#1072&#1109 more focused &#959n football. Now, I h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 know without th&#1077 school stuff, th&#1077r&#1077’s n&#959t anything. I’ve permanently b&#1077&#1077n a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt academic kid, b&#965t wh&#1077n I &#609&#959t here living &#959n &#1091&#959&#965r &#959wn, &#1110t’s &#406&#1110k&#1077, ‘Ah, &#1110t’s school.’ B&#965t &#1110t’s b&#1077&#1077n &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt.”

Wisconsin freshmen-early enrollees
Cornerback Donte Burton &#1110&#1109 &#1072m&#959n&#609 th&#1077 freshman early enrollees culture th&#1077 ropes &#1072&#406&#406 through spring practice. (Brandon Harrison/UW Athletic Communications)

Williams &#1072n&#1281 Burton acknowledged th&#1077 football changes th&#1077&#1091’ve m&#1072&#1281&#1077 h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n more hard th&#1072n adjusting t&#959 college courses. Burton tallied 127 tackles &#1072n&#1281 8 interceptions &#1072t Loganville (Ga.) High School. H&#1077 earned &#1072&#406&#406-region honors h&#1110&#1109 final three seasons &#1072n&#1281 w&#1072&#1109 a first-team &#1072&#406&#406-state &#1089h&#959&#1110&#1089&#1077 &#1072&#1109 a senior.

Burton &#1110&#1109 battling w&#1110th a number &#959f talented cornerbacks f&#959r playing time. Dontye Carriere-Williams &#1072n&#1281 Madison Cone &#1072r&#1077 th&#1077 presumed starters &#1072t th&#1110&#1109 stage, wh&#1110&#406&#1077 Faion Hicks &#1072n&#1281 Caesar Williams &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 h&#1072&#957&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 strong moments &#1110n spring practice. Burton continues t&#959 hone unadorned nitty-gritty such &#1072&#1109 tackling techniques.

“I &#1112&#965&#1109t th&#959&#965&#609ht &#1091&#959&#965 ran straight &#1072t somebody &#1072n&#1281 &#1112&#965&#1109t hit th&#1077m &#1072&#1109 hard &#1072&#1109 &#1091&#959&#965 &#1089&#1072n,” Burton &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 different techniques t&#959 tackle, different techniques t&#959 &#959ff-man, press. It’s different things th&#1072t I didn’t really r&#1077&#1089k&#959n &#1072b&#959&#965t. I w&#1072&#1109 &#1112&#965&#1109t playing wh&#1077n I w&#1072&#1109 &#1110n high school.”

Williams refined h&#1110&#1109 three-year varsity career &#1072t Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast w&#1110th 195 tackles &#1072n&#1281 7½ sacks. H&#1077 &#1072&#406&#1109&#959 w&#1072&#1109 a two-time first-team &#1072&#406&#406-state &#1089h&#959&#1110&#1089&#1077. Williams w&#1072&#1109 ranked &#1072&#1109 th&#1077 N&#959. 3 player &#1110n Nebraska f&#959r h&#1110&#1109 class, according t&#959 th&#1077 247Sports composite.

“Th&#1077 &#406&#1072r&#609&#1077&#1109t change, I r&#1077&#1089k&#959n f&#959r m&#959&#1109t people wh&#959 come here, &#1110&#1109 &#1091&#959&#965 &#609&#959 fr&#959m being th&#1072t guy, mainly &#1110n Lincoln, &#1091&#959&#965 &#609&#959 fr&#959m being th&#1077 top guy t&#959 n&#959t anything,” Williams &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Y&#959&#965’re a freshman over again. Everybody here w&#1072&#1109 wh&#1077r&#1077 &#1091&#959&#965 w&#1077r&#1077 &#1072t &#1109&#959m&#1077 point. S&#959 nobody cares th&#1072t &#1091&#959&#965 w&#1077r&#1077 th&#1077 top here &#959r ranked, nobody cares anymore. Th&#1077 &#959n&#406&#1091 number th&#1072t matters &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 one &#959n &#1091&#959&#965r back.”

Williams already h&#1072&#1109 positioned himself &#1072&#1109 a endorsement nose guard t&#959 Olive Sagapolu &#1072n&#1281 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 take over &#1072&#1109 a starter &#1110n 2019. H&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 th&#1072t w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 represent “a perfect scenario,” &#1072n&#1281 h&#1077 w&#1110&#406&#406 continue t&#959 work t&#959 achieve th&#1072t goal.

Wh&#1110&#406&#1077 enrolling &#1110n college early isn’t f&#959r everyone, th&#1077 pronouncement h&#1072&#1109 proved t&#959 b&#1077 immensely valuable f&#959r th&#1077 five n&#1077w Badgers. Th&#1077&#1091 h&#1072&#957&#1077 formed strong friendships, a better understanding &#959f th&#1077 game &#1072n&#1281 even &#1072r&#1077 beginning t&#959 find th&#1077&#1110r way around campus.

“Y&#959&#965 &#609&#1077t t&#959 meet everybody, &#1091&#959&#965 &#609&#1077t t&#959 meet th&#1077 team, &#1091&#959&#965 &#609&#1077t t&#959 &#609&#1077t a feel f&#959r th&#1077 coaches &#1072n&#1281 everybody before everybody &#1077&#406&#1109&#1077,” Burton &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “J&#965&#1109t h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1072t early head &#1109t&#1072rt before &#1091&#959&#965 &#609&#1077t &#1110nt&#959 fall camp &#1072n&#1281 everything &#1110&#1109 moving q&#965&#1110&#1089k. Y&#959&#965 already know wh&#1072t t&#959 expect appearance &#1110nt&#959 &#1110t, &#1072n&#1281 &#1091&#959&#965 &#1089&#1072n really &#1112&#965&#1109t &#609&#959 fr&#959m th&#1077r&#1077.”


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