MADISON, Wis. - Much like fellow quarterback Curt Phillips did a year ago, freshman newcomer Jon Budmayr left behind his high school friends and came to campus as an early enrollee. Now, past the midway point of spring practice, Budmayr looks to be benefiting from that decision.
Following Tuesday's practice, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with the quarterback and discussed life as a college kid and football. The following is a question and answer with the strong-armed Budmayr:
Well, just in general, how is college life and now football going for you?
Budmayr: Yeah, it's been fun just getting adjusted to everything school-wise and football. It's been quite a big adjustment, but just taking it one day at a time and learning with each rep I can get. It's been a lot of fun.
How would explain to someone from the outside how tough it is to come in and play football and do all the school stuff too?
Budmayr: It's really tough, but at the same time it's enjoyable so it makes it a little bit easier. When you're doing something you love and you come out each day and it's fun. But it is tough and it's a lot different than high school. It's just something that you have to manage your time and get used to that adjustment.
How would you analyze your play so far, is it kind of wide-eyed?
Budmayr: Not too bad, I mean, I'm just trying to learn with each rep. There's a lot of room for improvement obviously. Each day we practice, I just try to get a little bit better, so not too bad so far.
Have the coaches talked to you at all what your role is and what they're expecting of you this spring?
Budmayr: They've kind of said that same thing. Just come out and learn and just get better each day. As far as that, that's kind of what they've told me but haven't really gone into much more depth than that.
I don't know how open the playbook is. Have they been going pretty deep into it?
Budmayr: Yeah, I think we have a lot of our base stuff installed already. Now we're just adding a little bit more each day and kind of getting that down. Still, like I said, you got to study more and more each night.
How much do you study that? Is that one of your main priorities?
Budmayr: Yeah, quite a bit and that just comes along with that time management. You have to balance that and school and have to balance that well. You got to put a lot of time into it, but at the same time, once you get a play and you feel you've got it, that's fun. It's like getting an 'A' on a test.
Sometimes it boggles my mind when I watch and I can't see you when you get reps but suddenly the ball comes out and is on thrown on a line to the receiver. How are you able to see over these guys?
Budmayr: Yeah, it's almost more of seeing in between them. They make such a nice pocket, you've got to be able to step up, slide over and do whatever you have to do to find those throwing lanes. Especially being short like myself, you've got to learn how to do that and let your receivers make plays.
You couldn't have had guys this big in high school, did you?
Budmayr: Oh no, we didn't. I guess I was still a little undersized, but nowhere near this big. Like I always say, probably our best lineman was about 5-foot-7. Just a little guy, but the rest of the guys were about 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2.
Are you kind of getting used to it now, or is it still kind of developing?
Budmayr: Yeah, you're kind of getting used to it. Like I said, in high school you kind of had to do it to, it's all about throwing lanes. You really can't throw over them because I'll be high on everything if I do that.
Have any of the wide receivers impressed you so far?
Budmayr: Oh, all of them.
Have any stood out more than any of the others?
Budmayr: They've all done pretty good. I can't really pick one, but that's another difference coming in from high school. That speed and talent of wide receiving position is pretty impressive. They just go out there and make plays for you.
Is just the speed in general kind of tough to get used to?
Budmayr: Yeah, it is different. Especially once we started adding the defense bringing blitzes and stuff like that. Just being able to pick that up but at the same time, you've got to keep your eyes downfield to see what's going on down there. So, it's been a big difference and that just adds with the speed.
I know it's early, but what are your expectations for the rest of spring and what are you hoping to accomplish?
Budmayr: I just want to get better and try to improve each day. Really I guess, I don't know, just learn the offense better and everything that comes along with that. Just make plays.
Along those same lines, coming in here early a lot of the guys in your recruiting class are still doing their things in high school. I know it's early, but how do you see this benefiting you in the long run?
Budmayr: I think it will benefit me a lot. I know I wouldn't be this far if I weren't here. Being able to know the plays and then obviously the physical part of it. I'd be throwing the ball at home too, but getting in here and getting the reps of the college game, being able to run the plays that are going to be run, that type of experience is definitely going to benefit down the road.
Curt was in the same shoes as you a season ago, have you talked to him at all just in regards to what you are going through?
Budmayr: Yeah, a little bit. Curt's been helpful just giving advice both football and school. He's kind of told me the same thing, just manage your time. It's a different adjustment, but you've just got to get used to it.
Coming in here to Wisconsin, No. 5 as a quarterback, that's a pretty big number around here. Did you know that at all?
Budmayr: Yeah, I've heard a couple of times. I knew it, Brook (Bollinger) was a great quarterback here, but I really never thought about it when it came to it. I just took my older brother's number. I wore it all through high school and just wanted to keep it. That's how I got it, but obviously that's a great quarterback to come through here.
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