December 17, 2009

Groy getting work at center during bowl prep

MADISON - No matter way you look at it, barring any unforeseen bolts to the NFL, the Wisconsin offensive line will be back and a strength for the 2010 UW football team. As a young player involved with the unit, freshman Ryan Groy is willing to help in any way he can.

At the conclusion of a recent practice, caught up with the local offensive lineman. The following is a question and answer with Groy.

How did the first year go for you now as a college football player?

Groy: It went well. I came into camp fighting for a spot or trying to get some playing time, but it ended up that I had to redshirt. I was actually glad I did. I went on the scout team for a while and now I'm back playing on the two's again.

Obviously hindsight is always 20/20, but is it good you redshirted?

Groy: Exactly. I'm happy I did it. I can come in and I can have another year and spread out classes a little more and have a little more relaxed college career.

Would you have been ready at all now that you've been through a full year?

Groy: I think I would have. I think I came in ready and I think I prepared myself to where I needed to be. But it wasn't in the cards, so I was happy to redshirt.

I mean, that's still a good thing. You get to learn from all those guys up there now. Have you learned stuff from these guys?

Groy: Oh yeah, absolutely. Even Peter Konz is teaching me stuff all the time. Josh Oglesby and John Moffitt are always giving me little lessons on what to do and some techniques on how to improve your game.

They have you projected at center?

Groy: I've been doing right guard. I have been playing second right guard, but they are trying to get me some snaps. I just started two days ago (Sunday) so I'm starting to snap. I guess we'll see.

You're willing to go wherever?

Groy: Oh, exactly.

Have you worked center at all in high school?

Groy: No, never. I haven't since the fourth grade. So yeah, it's the first time I've snapped in forever.

Were they just kind of testing you out? Or is it something they're projecting you as?

Groy: I don't really know. I think coach Bo Bostad likes to keep everyone versatile. If somebody goes down the next best player (goes in). It doesn't have to be that position. But everybody has got to be ready.

When you look at it, and obviously you play the position, but it's pretty phenomenal what they've done. They've have five different starting lineups for the offensive line. Are you impressed with how they've handled it?

Groy: I think so. Coach Bostad always keeps everybody ready. You know if you're a two, if somebody goes down you go right in. Everybody has got to be ready.

Did you add weight at all?

Groy: No, I actually lost. I started off 315 to start off camp. I lost 20 pounds when everybody was getting sick and stuff. So I lost about 10 pounds then and a little bit from camp. So I was about 295, now I'm about 305 now.

Are you looking to add more during winter conditioning for spring ball?

Groy: I'm looking to add weight, but I'm not looking to gain it fast. I'm looking to add muscle and not really just get big and bulky.

Is there a desired size that you want to be at?

Groy: I think 315 is probably a good weight for me. I don't want to be too big yet, but eventually I'll be heavier.

Just talk about your expectations. Is now kind of the start for your season next year?

Groy: I think so. It's basically like another spring for me. In fall camp, it was like I was playing twos so that was like coming early for me. That was like a spring. So I learned a lot, got to learn the offense pretty good and got a lot of reps. So this is just my continuation into spring. Hopefully I'll be playing for a spot. If I can't then I'll push those other guys in front of me.

Do you feel like some momentum is building here, headed towards the spring?

Groy: I think so. I'm getting a lot of developmental work and getting a lot of two reps. I'm learning the offense again from being on the scout to trying to get as good as I can.

I've been around here for a few years and every time bowl prep comes around the younger guys get pretty excited because they get to do Wisconsin vs. Wisconsin instead of the scout team. Is that the same thing for you?

Groy: It's really exciting. I mean, before you're just kind of being on scout. It's not that much fun, but it's your job. Now it gets a little more exciting and it gets a little more intense.

What's your impression on the bowl game? Playing Miami, that's got to be pretty exciting.

Groy: I'm pretty excited. We're excited to play the 14th ranked team. They look pretty good. We're pretty good too, so it will be a good game.

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