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Wisconsin freshman Eric Burrell learning, working way up in defense

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Wisconsin's class of 2016 could see several true freshmen make contributions this upcoming season. Among them is safety Eric Burrell.

Student Sports

After working his way into earning some second-team reps late in Wisconsin's fall camp, safety Eric Burrell continues to adjust to the college game.

He spoke with B5Q after practice on Monday about the transition to Wisconsin and learning from one of UW's greatest safeties.

You’re in your third week now of fall camp. How are you feeling so far?

It feels good. It’s a long process. Your body gets beat up, so I’m just pulling through it right now. Everybody goes through all of these problems, but we’re all sticking together, making sure we get treatment and all the stuff like that. It’s been a good process for me and my other teammates, so I’m just glad to be here.

What’s been the biggest transition for you when it comes to going from high school to the college game? Has it been the weight room and training regiment during the summer, or adjusting to fall camp?

Everything is on a schedule. You got to be here at a certain time. In high school, you have more free time, but when I got here in the summertime, I had something to do everyday no matter what. You just got to do extra activities even outside of that. The biggest adjustment was probably the schedule.

When it comes to the defense, how are you adjusting and learning it? It seems like you've been receiving some second-team reps—how have they been utilizing you?

I like tackling a lot. They’ve been throwing me in there with the second team, and also getting mental reps. [I’m] just working film with my coaches. The playbook is pretty straight forward. I’ve learned a lot. I still have more to learn, but it’s been good. They’ve been teaching me techniques and stuff like that, so I’m just excited.

You’re learning from a former Wisconsin safety in Jim Leonhard, All-American and 10-year NFL veteran. What you have you learned early on three weeks through fall camp?

He’s pretty straight forward. He’s a down-to-earth guy. He’s going to tell you what you need to work on, and he’s also going to tell you what you’re good at. It’s cool to have a coach like that. He’s been in my shoes before, so just telling us [his] past experiences that he went through and that we’ll have obstacles to go through. I’m glad to have him [as a position coach].

What are some of the goals you have, whether it’s playing time or just learning the defense, heading into the 2016 season?

Win a championship. Everybody all has the same goal—whatever it takes to win a championship. I’ll be happy with that.