August 16, 2009

Borland looking to hold onto redshirt option

MADISON, Wis. - Jaevery McFadden is the lone returning starter at the linebacking position for Wisconsin. With him, Blake Sorensen and Culmer St. Jean will round out the starting unit. Behind those three, though, is a stable of young players battling for the two deep and freshman Chris Borland is one of them.

During UW's media day Sunday afternoon, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with the Ohio native. The following is a question and answer with Borland.

How's everything going so far?

Borland: It's going well. I think we had a great summer with the strength staff and it's been only a week into camp and I think so far everyone has been working hard and playing together.

Have you been up here all summer?

Borland: Yeah, I've been up here since June 8th.

It must have been an adjustment for you leaving home and coming to a new town?

Borland: Absolutely, but there was a number of other freshmen in the same boat. We've been here all summer so we kind of meshed and hung out with those guys. Then the upper classmen have done a great job of showing us the ropes and taking us under their wings so everything has been pretty smooth.

The summer conditioning, in particular, did you gain weight at all?

Borland: Yeah, I came here at about 228 and I checked in at camp about 235 so I gained about seven pounds over the summer.

Are you looking to add more?

Borland: No, just to maintain and maintain athleticism. I think I weigh enough for this year. I don't know what's going to happen, I might still grow a little bit, so I think I'm in a good spot right now to kind of maintain.

Over the week coach Bret Bielema and some of the other coaches have mentioned your name as kind of standing out as far as the freshmen, what does that mean to you?

Borland: It means a lot. Anytime you hear coach's praise, it's special. But I'm not anywhere near as close as I need to be for this season and my career. So I hopefully want to continue to get more of that praise but just work on my game and know that you're always improving.

Are you looking at trying to make an impact this year or are you going to talk about redshirting at all?

Borland: Well, I think I'm hoping to keep that redshirt in my pocket and try to play some special teams this year and hopefully get in the two deep. So, I'm just going to try to make my impact this year and keep that redshirt.

That first game, what are the emotions going to be like when you come running out of that tunnel?

Borland: I was super hyped just to be a recruit in the stands so running onto the field and playing in front of 80,000 plus is just going to be electric. It's just going to be unbelievable.

What is your favorite sport other than football?

Borland: I'm a soccer fan. A lot of my brothers in my family play soccer and we were actually just kicking it downstairs with a soccer ball, ironically. So, I think soccer.

Who is your favorite team?

Borland: Soccer team? The U.S. national team. I thought I would be patriotic there.

Do you follow any of the European leagues?

Borland: Yeah, I follow a little bit of the EPL, not too close, but when a game is on, I'll stop and watch it.

Who is the best soccer player you've seen on the football team?

Borland: Probably Alec Lerner, the walk-on kicker from Nebraska. We were just downstairs and we were juggling. He's got some skills. I know he played soccer in high school. He is a kicker though, so it's not fair.

When you're practicing, who is the toughest guy to get past? Who blocks the hardest?

Borland: Gabe Carimi. We run a power play where the tackle will reach up on a middle linebacker. He's got what seems like seven-foot long arms. He does a good job of holding. (Laughing) Don't tell him I said that.

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