One of the strengths of the UW football team heading into the season was its kicking game, featuring junior Philip Welch from Fort Collins, Colo.
So far he hasn't disappointed, converting 9-of-12 field goal attempts and all 35 conversion kicks entering a Big Ten Conference game Saturday at Purdue.
Welch has quietly begun scrawling his name in the UW record book. A life sciences communication major, he's got the second-best career field-goal conversion percentage (76.7 percent) and is sixth all-time in scoring with 259 points. His 57-yard field goal against Fresno State in 2009 stands as the second-longest in the modern era and the longest outdoors.
Welch took a moment after a recent practice to talk about, among other things, dealing with pressure and what other position he could play for the Badgers in a pinch.
Question: What's the most difficult part of your job?
Philip Welch: "Probably handling the pressure or handling coach (Bret Bielema) getting on me.''
Q: How does the pressure manifest itself in your mind?
PW: "I'm pretty good at just ignoring it, but once in a while it'll get to me. So handling that (moment) that's what makes a good kicker, I feel.''
Q: When do you notice the crowd the most?
PW: "When I don't have to kick. When I have to kick, I don't notice the crowd at all.''
Q: In a pinch, what other position could you play on this team?
Q: Anything else?
PW: "I could catch a ball, maybe, so receiver. There's not much else I could do.''
Q: What's the best money you've ever spent?
PW: "Probably my first motorcycle in seventh grade, just because it kind of made me who I am.''
Q: Which is what exactly?
PW: "I like moto-cross biking and it's kind of made me more wild and on the edge. I was big into moto-cross through high school and junior high.''
Q: The last time you cried after an athletic event?
PW: "Probably the (state) semifinals in high school. We lost to Columbine. I was hurt and it was at my high school.''
Q: So it was just the emotion of a career coming to an end, right?
Q: If you could meet anyone who's ever lived, who would you choose?
PW: "Albert Einstein.''
Q: Which teammate would you choose to walk with you down a dark alley?
PW: "Any of the linebackers. ... Kevin Rouse.''
PW: "He's one of those wild dudes. ... Wait, I'd say John Moffitt. I think he'd be able to take it pretty well.''