An Ironic Twist

(Badger Nation Photo)

After injuries ended his high school senior and redshirt season prematurely at Wisconsin, freshman Jon Budmayr's solid, confidence play during camp as made him a viable option for the future. With the injury to Curt Phillips, Budmayr is one hit away from being Wisconsin's starting quarterback.

Badger Nation: After a couple of rough years, how does it simply feel to be healthy?

Jon Budmayr: Great! It definitely does. I have gone through some injuries in the past but like I've told myself and something my parents instilled in me at a young age, everything happens for a reason. God's really got a plan and right now, he's got me healthy and got me going. For that, it feels good.

Badger Nation: All your injuries have been weird ones and coming at odd times. Obviously breaking your collarbone in the first quarter of the first game of your senior year and then trying to get a head start in fall camp but arm problem that sits you down for eight weeks. Have they been weird in your eyes to?

Jon Budmayr: Exactly. The thing with injuries is you don't know when they are going to happen and you can't really prevent them. I have done everything I can in this offseason to keep my body right and stay flexible so I don't have any pulled muscles. I just try to prevent everything I can and go from there. If something happens I can't prevent, I just have to go from there and recover from it. Right now though, I feel great and really happy to be healthy.

Badger Nation: Is it ironic then that an injury has made you that backup quarterback for this football team?

Jon Budmayr: It is pretty ironic, and it's really a tough thing because you've got such a great teammate in Curt (Phillips), a guy you work with all season and all off season, to go down. It's hard for the team and especially hard for the quarterbacks. It's ironic, but I just have to step in and take advantage of each rep I get.

Badger Nation: You kind of set it but when an injury happens, it seems like the position group takes an injury a lot harder from the rest of the team because of that time spent together?

Jon Budmayr: It sure does. That's the thing that a lot of people don't see because they think it's a competition and be at each other's throats all the time because you want to beat this guy out. Really with us, it's always been getting better because that will improve yourself and improve the team. With all of us playing, it made us all better because Curt brought out the best competition in Scott Tolzien and I and vice versa. It's very tough to lose him and hopefully he can recover quickly and get back with us.

Badger Nation: Are you throwing better now than you did before the injury?

Jon Budmayr: I think a little bit. Part of that is just the off season workouts, too. You gain strength, which increases velocity.

Badger Nation: With the amount of time that you miss, what was the important factor for you to get prepared as you could while you waited for your body to catch up?

Jon Budmayr: It was just a lot of watching film and learning the playbook. I look at that thing all the time and try to get an edge with that. Obviously, I couldn't be throwing and getting reps, so it was a lot of mental reps.

Badger Nation: The big thing with you is that you aren't the tallest quarterback and you are behind an offensive line that is a lot bigger than what you had at Marion Catholic Central. How have you adjusted to that and how long did it take you to adjust to the size difference?

Jon Budmayr: It's really just … I personally don't think you are ever throwing over anybody. It's just a matter of finding those lanes, working within the pocket, knowing where those lanes are going to be within the pocket, step up and find your guy. That's the biggest adjustment really. In high school, you don't see quite as nice a pocket while that's what they are working for in college. They make the pocket for you and you have to find the crease to be successful.

Badger Nation: Is the confidence the biggest change in your game because you've stepped up in the pocket multiple much more this spring than you have in the past?

Jon Budmayr: It's just having confidence in my body and that the offensive line is going to protect the pocket. Both of those things go into it. One of the things last spring and a little bit of fall camp was I would look to escape right away instead of stepping up. That's really not my game with the speed, that's more Curt's athletic department. He can do that. I just had to find what was good for me, take that and work with it in the offseason. We do a lot of drills in practice with stepping into a throw, too, so it's just taking that and find the open route.

Badger Nation: What's the biggest thing you've gained in the film room either watching film by yourself or watching it with your quarterback teammates?

Jon Budmayr: Probably just recognizing defenses. That's probably the biggest adjustment coming from high school to college. Things get a lot more complex and being able to recognize when they are bringing pressure, the type of pressure and what's on the back end. To see that and really know what you want to do pre snap, opposed to putting everything in post snap. When you get a pretty good idea before the play, that will help the entire play develop, and that's what I have been learning the most.

Badger Nation: How has the Coach Chryst' dialogue changed this spring than maybe it was in the past?

Jon Budmayr: I am starting to get a lot more, and there's still a long ways to go. Last year, it was coming in and getting the play down and I was happy if I knew where one guy was going and lock in on him. Now you are learning the entire play, run games, different kills and checks and little things like that. You learn something everyday and get better from it.

Badger Nation: How has the feedback been in terms of positive and negative?

Jon Budmayr: It's been mostly positive. The thing with Coach Chryst is that you are always learning. You have to take it, listen to it and then apply to the field. In the film rooms, no matter who is up or who is playing, he's teaching you and he expects everyone to learn from that play. It's positive, but there is always room to improve.

Badger Nation: Does your role change now from No.3 quarterback to No.2 quarterback? Is anything you do different?

Jon Budmayr: I don't think so. The only thing that has changed for me are in the reps I am getting and I was still preparing myself the same way. My routine hasn't changed and all.

Badger Nation: What's the biggest stride you are trying to make with the spring game looming Saturday?

Jon Budmayr: Just becoming more consistent. I have kind of learned from my mistakes and stuff, but I don't want to keep repeating them.

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