MADISON — Spring means out with the old, and in with the new. One Badger is taking that phrase to heart.
Arrington Farrar is using the spring practices to convert to a new position. For the last week, Farrar has been participating in the inside linebacker drills, rather than the safety drills.
He said to improve this offseason, he gained ten pounds and then got switched to inside linebacker, despite spending most of the offseason working with the safety group. He said the weight gain was what inspired the position change quoting that “it was just unnatural.”
Farrar said everything has been going well though with the new position despite not playing it since 4th grade, when he was named MVP. Farrar also noted that it is great transitioning with such knowledgable guys at the position.
“I have a lot of knowledge in the room with Cichy, Chris [Orr], TJ [Edwards], and Ryan [Connelly],” Farrar explained. “All those guys they always know what is going on and they’ve all been there. So I just got to pick their brains and go talk to Coach Muldoon and Coach Bostad.”
Farrar seems to be one of those people that embraces change, as he said he was glad to be back on the field and running around with his people again, hitting them, and releasing some pent up anger.
Spring football is meant to work on technique and begin improving on things from last year. When asked what he thought the defense could improve on from last year, Farrar jokingly answered “making the other team score less.” After thinking about his answer, he came up with one that seemed evident after the Big Ten Championship game. He thought the defense could improve on “Just continuously stepping on the accelerator. And not giving up if you get up early, not letting them gain a yard or confidence, stuff like that. Hitting it from the jump and then keeping it.”
He said it won’t be hard to recreate that stout defense from last year, despite losing so many key players. He said they still have the drive and determination to be successful.
“Our secondary is going to be better than ever with Nick [Nelson], ‘Cota [D’Cota Dixon], and DT [Derrick Tindal], and ‘Trell [Natrell Jamerson]. Trell is going to be really good. Linebackers are always going to be good. Inside is going to be great.”
Senior outside linebacker, Garret Dooley, also expects the defense to perform just as well as they did last year.
“We’ve shown it in the past that no matter who steps up, obviously we’ve had plenty of injuries that have happened and we have had a lot of people step up into new roles,” Dooley said. “For us it has always been a next man up mentality. To not have a drop off at any sort of position no matter who is playing at that spot, so I think that is kind of our defensive mentality and I think we are going to perform to the best of our abilities and go out there and do what we do.”
The senior, who has become more vocal this season, can’t wait for September 5th. He said the team still has a long ways to go before the first game but they will be ready for it.
“As soon as the final game of the season is over everyone is already waiting for game one of the season,” Dooley continued. “It’s a long wait between football seasons and just having that energy and antsy-ness is kind of starting to grow with the team.”
Other practice notes:
- Deron Harrell was making some big plays happen today. If this kind of action continues, the wide receiver group could be dangerous between Harrell, Peavy, and Cephus.
- Barry Alvarez and T.J. Watt made appearances at practice on Thursday.
- I can not stress enough how well Chris James is doing thus far. And then there is Bradrick Shaw, who also slips right through the defense.
- The quarterbacks and wide receivers could not get on the same page today, but the tight ends were impressive.
- Nick Thomas went down yelling in pain. Trainers seemed to be working on his lower leg.