Sophomore OL Tyler Marz (61) found a home at left tackle in the Badgers' season-opening 45-0 win over UMass last Saturday. The 6-foot-5, 321-pound Marz got his first career start when he lined up at left tackle against the Minutemen after bouncing around a number of positions during fall camp.
Your last name is pronounced (MARE-its) nothing like its spelled. Does anyone ever get it right on the first try?
"I don't think so. No one did through high school and no one has during college. It's become a first day of school tradition of sorts. It's a 100 percent German name, or at least that's what my parents told me."
You've had the opportunity to sit behind some NFL-caliber offensive linemen in your career at Wisconsin. What have you been able to learn from them?
"A lot of technique stuff like hand and foot placement, as well as learning to dive into the playbook. They always gave me pointer here and there, such as what defenses are going to do against you -- they were all very smart that way. It has been a positive to have those guys in front of me and leading me on."
What is it like to block for the high-caliber running backs at Wisconsin?
"Having those three guys (James White, Melvin Gordon, Corey Clement) back there, and knowing that they are hard runners, is awesome and it's great to block for them. It is our job to do that, so we come in here every day, work hard and do that. Hopefully the outcome is that they all do get 100 yards every time out. That's our duty and that's the goal we have for them every day."
What has it been like to work with new offensive line coach T.J. Woods?
"He's been great. He's really good at teaching the defensive looks, a lot like what the upper classmen linemen will do. He's really good at teaching technique, even if it's the slightest thing like working your feet, or balance. Overall he's just a great coach."
You had a rapid ascent up the depth chart during fall camp. What's it like now to have the opportunity to be a starter?
"It's a great feeling. All of my hard work up until now is paying off. Now I have to keep adding on to that and keep building. I got my first start out of the way on Saturday and got some of the nerves out. Now I can keep building on that because there is a lot that I need to keep working on. I'd like to improve my technique, speed, physicality and dive into the playbook even more and overall become a better player."
You were a three-sport star in high school (baseball, basketball, football). What was your favorite sport?
"I did a lot of basketball growing up, I was in AAU stuff and I played spring and summer baseball. Football was actually the sport I took up last, but I started to focus on it more as I started getting some looks from colleges."
- Ryan Evans