December 16, 2008
Toon likes development of young receivers
MADISON, Wis. - Near the beginning of the season many followers of Wisconsin football were unsure of the Badger wide receivers. Following an ugly loss at Michigan, where Badger multiple passes were dropped, the position hit its lowest point. However, as the season progressed, some promise started to develop and the unit finished the schedule much better than it started.
BadgerBlitz.com had the opportunity to catch up with one of the more improved receivers on team when it talked with redshirt freshman Nick Toon. The following is a question and answer with the local wide out.
It seems like you were starting to kind of heat up towards the end of the season. Did this break come at a bad time for you?
Toon: No, you know, obviously it would have been better if it was at the beginning of the season, but I just was trying to learn and progress throughout the season. I kind of established myself, I think I did that this season. Just move forward, finish this season out and hope to get better, continue to get better next season.
It seemed at the end of the year, not just you, but Isaac Anderson and David Gilreath were also improving. How much confidence does that give you guys as a unit when you are having the success you did at the end of the year?
Toon: You know, any boost of confidence is positive and it takes the group in the right direction. We're a young group, I don't think that's a secret to anybody, but obviously young groups are immature and have a lot to learn. I think we made some big steps this season and hope to continue to get better next season.
Could some of the early struggles like the Michigan game and all the drops be attributed to youth and inexperience?
Toon: Yeah, it's kind of the youth aspect, just lack of concentration. The receiver's job is to catch the ball, you know, we got to catch the ball and make plays. Just moving forward, not trying to look back and reminisce on anything, but just try to keep getting better.
A year ago at this time you were redshirting. How would you say you've progressed over the course of all last season to where you are today?
Toon: In my opinion, it's like night and day. I feel like a new player, obviously went from redshirting to getting some significant time. I'm continuing to learn, I've got a lot to learn, but I feel like I've made some big strides this year in learning the offense and just learning more about the game of football.
Did you, or do you feel any more pressure just because of your dad's name around here?
Toon: Yeah, you know, that pressure has been on me my entire life. It feels normal to me, that pressure. It's more of a legacy type thing that would have followed me anywhere I would have went. It's not something I think about or worry about. I just try to go out there and try to do my thing.
Just looking forward to the bowl game, how exciting is it to go against a team like Florida State?
Toon: Well it's the first match-up ever between Wisconsin and Florida State. They have some great athletes, I think they have a pretty good team. I'm excited to just go out, play another game and go out there and compete one more time.
With how the season played out, is this kind of the best case scenario with this bowl game?
Toon: You know, obviously the season wasn't what we wanted or what we were expecting, but we finished strong and got to a bowl game, a pretty exceptional bowl game. I think just trying to finish off on a positive note.
Does it kind of amp you guys up to play them in their state?
Toon: Yeah, anytime you get to a bowl game its fun. Like you said, it's Florida State in Florida. I think it's going to be a little bit of a hostile environment down there but our fans travel well too. I think it will be a fun experience.
Just kind of looking back on the season again, when the quarterback change was made, how difficult of an adjustment is that for you as a receiver?
Toon: I think anytime there's a quarterback change for a team, it's difficult because he's typically the leader of the offense. He's the guy controlling everything as it relates to the offense. It's difficult but I think it worked out. I think the coaching staff made the right decision in making the change. Nothing against Allan Evridge, he's a great guy, a great athlete, but I think Dustin Sherer did the job and got done what needed to be done.
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