With the announcement last week that the Big Ten conference would be playing football this fall and then the announcement of a new schedule on Saturday, a trio of Wisconsin Badgers players were made available to answer questions from the media on Friday. Defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk, defensive back Eric Burrell and quarterback Jack Coan joined media members via Zoom to talk about how they reacted when they found out the season was back on and what they think this team can accomplish moving forward.
All three players were asked about how safe they feel and Loudermilk summed it up the best saying, “I feel very comfortable. I trust everything that they have us doing. We wanna play so we’ll do anything.”
It was brought up to Loudermilk and Burrell that the Badgers haven’t played football since the Rose Bowl, since spring practice was cancelled due to COVID-19, and they both mentioned that it may take a couple of practices for everyone too get re-acclimated to tackling.
“Physically it’s going to take some time to really get back into it. Gotta get used to hitting again. Mentally I think everyone has stayed prepared,” Loudermilk said.
Burrell mentioned that while being on defense would “make the tackling element tough” he knows that everyone has been working out on their own so that should help them in the physical aspect of the game.
All three guys were asked about if this year’s team could be special and, obviously, they all thought that they could.
“We’ve got a lot of great guys and great football players on the team. Everyone put their head down and worked as hard as they could,” Coan said.
“Just look at the history of it. Wisconsin is always top notch,” Burrell added.
The bond that all of the players share seems to be strong even though they haven’t all be able to practice together. “We know what pieces we have and we know what pieces we added. Just being able to be around those guys we’ve got a great bond,” Loudermilk mentioned.
A promising tidbit that Burrell offered up is that Scott Nelson, last season’s opening day starting safety who missed all but a few quarters of the year with an injury, is “coming back and he’s stronger than ever.”
Despite the season being shortened and delayed, the players are still excited. When asked if this year will still be “meaningful”, Loudermilk opined, “I definitely think it’s meaningful. We’ve been given this opportunity to show what kind of team we can be.”