Among the players that have benefitted the most from Wisconsin's new 3-4 defensive scheme is junior NG Warren Herring. The Fairview Heights, Ill., native had to transition from defensive tackle in the offseason to fit the new alignment, but the move has paid dividends. It took just six games for Herring to set career highs in tackles for loss (4.5) and sacks (2.5) and he already has a two-sack game to his name.
What was the transition from tackle to nose guard like in the offseason?
"I have had to make a couple transitions since coming to Wisconsin. When I came in I was a defensive end and had to gain weight when they moved me to defensive tackle. It was tough trying to gain and maintain weight while playing inside against bigger guys. But my weight came along and my strength came along and I was able to feel more comfortable. Now this year, at nose guard, they wanted me to gain a little more weight and I was all for it. I am all for new challenges. But it has been a process. There are a lot of things that I need to work on, but I have a lot of encouragement from my defensive line teammates."
Which teammates have helped you the most?
"I watch Beau Allen a lot. There aren't many guys that get to play as a true freshman, but he was one of them and he earned it. Being able to watch him and communicate back and forth with him at nose guard has helped me out a lot. Guys like (Ethan) Hemer, (Pat) Muldoon and Tyler Dippel all push me to get better, too. Those upperclassmen have high expectations for all of us. Going into my fourth year now, there is an expectation put on me to play to the best of my ability."
How has the new 3-4 scheme benefitted you?
"The 3-4 defense has benefitted me a lot. I've been able to utilize my quickness. That's a testament to all of our coaches for helping us and running everything with us this offseason. I have been working on my hands, which I think have gotten a lot better. It has been a good transition for me. I've seen nothing but upside. I am constantly trying to get better, but I am still far away from where I want to be."
"I will be there again, but I have to make the free throw this time. I missed the free throw -- by a lot -- last year. I've been practicing. Before practice I open up the gate where the balls are and step back a little bit and start shooting footballs into the little (cart) thing."
You are widely regarded as the best dancer on the team. Which of your teammates do you think could give you the best run for your money?
"Walker Williams. He's pretty decent, but he's not better than me yet. There are a lot of guys with good talent. Ethan Hemer is coming along really well. I have been teaching him some things in the dance world. But I still have a lot of moves that no one has seen yet. I can't tell my secrets. People might try to steal them."
- Ryan Evans