Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - May 3, 2012

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Butrym has help as he heads to NFL camp LUCAS AT LARGE MIKE LUCAS • UWBADGERS.COM U W defensive tackle Pat- rick Butrym got some help from his former teammates — Scott Tolzien, Bill Nagy and Chris Maragos — in dealing with the pitfalls and un- certainty of pro football's draft. "They told me, 'It's going to be stressful but just hang in there,"' he related. "They also said, 'Your parents are probably going to be stressed out too because they want the best for you."' Butrym was still on the board Saturday, the final day of the NFL draft. Throughout the seventh and final round, he got calls from teams that expressed interest in signing him if he was not drafted. "It was awesome to have those guys as a crutch to lean on," Butrym said of Nagy, a seventh- round pick of the Cowboys; and Tolzien and Maragos, who signed as undrafted free agents. "None of them heard from the team they signed with. So they told me, 'Don't fall in love with anybody during the draft. You need to take all the emotion out of it. Nothing is personal.' "It's crazy how spot-on they were. To have that kind of ad- vice from guys who have all been there — in similar situations — and made it in the NFL has been extremely helpful." Butrym had no prior contact with the 49ers, but they offered a free agent contract and "legiti- mate chance of making the team 10 » VARSITY MAY 3, 2012 beyond just being a training camp body," he said. That's all he wanted to hear. On paper, it really does look like a good fit for Butrym since the 49ers are not blessed with depth on the D-line. It won't hurt, either, that Butrym will have some Badger connections in San Francisco. One of the secondary as- sistants is Greg Jackson, who spent the 2010 season on the UW staff. The special assistant to head coach Jim Harbaugh is Billy Nayes, a former director of football operations at Wisconsin. And then there's Tolzien, who caught on with the 49ers after being released by San Diego. "It will be nice having one of my best friends from college out there," Butrym said. "Scott spoke of the things that I will have to do to prepare myself before I get out there (on May 10 for rookie camp). "We've talked about what to expect and what I need to do. He said you can 'will' your way on to a team if you work hard and do the things that they ask you to do. I think I'm that type of guy." After pulling his hamstring while running the 40 on UW's pro timing day — "It was so frus- trating because I was so ready and prepared for it"— Butrym has been playing catch-up in the draft process. It got to the desperation point where Butrym showed up at Pe- ter Konz's pro day and offered to run the 40 for any of the scouts who were there to see Konz, Kevin Zeitler and Josh Oglesby. "Luckily there were some people who were willing to take my time," Butrym said. "That's an important piece of the whole evaluation process. I was lucky to get a chance to run." Now he's hoping to run with the opportunity that the 49ers are giving him, thanks in part to some motivation from his uncle, Tom Linebarger, who played football at SMU in the mid-'80s. "He said, 'You will go in there and be enamored by the NFL but the quicker you can realize that you can play with these guys, the quicker you're going to have suc- cess,"' Butrym recounted. That will be the objective of all the Badgers who were drafted or signed as free agents. "You look across the board and everybody really has a chance to make a roster," Bu- trym said. "It speaks volumes about our program and the type of players we produce. "We're all very high character. It sounds cliché but we have a bunch of guys who say 'Yes sir' and 'No sir' and will go into a camp and do whatever we have to do to make the team. "I don't know if we're the best athletes. But we're football play- ers — we know how to play the game — and that can take you a long way."

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