Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - November 14, 2013

Varsity is the free Official Online Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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I LUCAS AT LARGE BY MIKE LUCAS // UWBADGERS.COM Clock ticking, Wozniak is looking ahead 18 t made sense that Wisconsin's Brian Wozniak and Indiana's Ted Bolser would be "tight." They've know each other since they were 10-year-old teammates on an AAU summer basketball team. Wozniak is a 6-foot-4, 256-pound fifth-year senior from Loveland, Ohio; Bolser is a 6-6, 247-pound fifth-year senior from Indian Hill. Both are tight ends are from Cincinnati suburbs, two miles apart. UW wide receiver Jeff Duckworth (Cincinnati/Princeton High School) and Illinois wide receiver Steve Hull (Cincinnati/Sycamore) were on the same AAU team with Wozniak and Bolser. Since the Badgers will be playing host to the Hoosiers on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium, you can assume that Wozniak and Duckworth will be communicating with Bolser, one way or another. "But we're not talking trash about the game," Wozniak assured. "It's friendlier like, 'How has the season been?' It won't be like we're trying to get under his skin or vice versa. "It's fun because he grew up in the city right next to me, so we knew of each other's accolades. When we were being recruited, we kind of bounced things off each other." Bolser will soon own all of Indiana's career records for a tight end. He's already the leader in touchdowns (14) and yards (1,313) while ranking second in catches (112) to Bob Stephenson (115). This season, Bolser has 30 receptions for 296 yards and five touch- // VARSITY November 14, 2013 downs. By comparison, Wozniak has just two catches. Both have gone for scores. But stats are not a true measure of his value. Much in the same manner of former UW tight end Jake Byrne ― who's on the active roster of the Houston Texans ― Wozniak does a lot of the dirty work on the line of scrimmage, and does it well. Wozniak would love to take that same path to the NFL. But he also preparing for another career, a coaching career. "It's something that I've always wanted to do," he said. Wozniak was first influenced in this direction by his old high school coach, Andrew Marlatt, who's now an assistant on the staff at Miami (Ohio). "He has been a great mentor," Wozniak said. So has former UW tight ends coach Joe Rudolph, now at Pitt; so has former UW tight ends coach Eddie Faulkner, now at NC State; so has current UW tight ends coach Jeff Genyk. Wozniak has jotted down notes on each of their coaching styles. He also has filed away his thoughts on Paul Chryst, Matt Canada and Andy Ludwig, the offensive coordinators he has played for. Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips has taken the same approach. He wants to get into coaching, too. In fact, Wozniak and Phillips live next to each other and have talked about it. "We're always bouncing ideas of each other," Wozniak said. "We're always joking around that in a couple of years, we'll be on the same staff coaching offense together, which would be great." First-year UW head coach Gary Andersen has definitely impacted Wozniak's frame of reference. "He makes football seem fun again," Wozniak said. "It's not so much a job. It's fun learning from him." Right now, Wozniak is learning that it's tough not to look at the clock, which is ticking. "It's getting scary," he said. "I was lying in bed and I was thinking, 'Wow, I've got about six weeks left in Madison.' There are so many things you want to get done. It's getting a little surreal." Wozniak will graduate in late December. Until then, he's trying to make the most of every moment, on and off the field, starting Saturday with his second to last game at Camp Randall. The Hoosiers are trying to get bowl eligible, the Badgers are trying to get BCS bowl eligible. "We know the type of team we are and the talent we have," Wozniak said. "Our focus is on in Indiana. We'll let other people worry about what's going to happen at the end of the season." Wozniak is dealing with one unknown. He doesn't know how he will react following the game when he and Bolser meet to shake hands on the field. "It's weird to think about," Wozniak said. "Hopefully, we'll both get a shot at the next level and maybe we'll do it again someplace. But it is crazy to think it's our last Big Ten game together." They figure to stay tight.

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