Perhaps no UW player is reveling in the bye week more so than junior punter Brad Nortman, whose epic fake led to the winning touchdown last Saturday at Iowa.
You can hear the excitement in his voice and see it on his face. Nortman, an accounting major from Brookfield Central High School, said the last two weeks have been unlike any in his competitive life. Not a surprise given the Badgers knocked off ranked teams in consecutive games and put themselves in the thick of the Big Ten Conference title chase.
Nortman, one of the top punters in school history, took a moment this week to reflect on wins over Ohio State and Iowa and talk about some of his life experiences.
Question: Is there an award you've received that you're most proud of?
Brad Nortman: "Being named captain of my high school football team.''
Q: If you could trade places with any teammate, who would it be and why?
BN: "Ummm. (Tailback) John Clay because of all the ... you know ... No, no, never mind. I take that back. I'm going to be -- these questions are tough, touche -- (quarterback) Scott Tolzien. Just because he's in a good position, does everything right. To be someone like him would be good.''
Q: Your biggest play before this past week and your fake punt at Iowa?
BN: "Personally, I think the biggest play was the first punt against Miami in last year's bowl game. It was 55 yards, put them at their 8-yard line. It was kind of a big swing of events. For me and my team, that was big.''
Q: If you could witness any moment in history -- sports or other wise -- what would it be?
BN: "Hmmm. The Packers winning the Super Bowl in '97. That would be cool to witness.''
Q: The most interesting class you've taken at UW and why?
BN: "It was an English class my freshman year. It was all reading novels and stuff. A ton of work, but the professor's insights were incredible. His lectures were amazing. Even though it was one of the hardest classes I've ever taken, it was probably the most fulfilling just because it helped my writing skills and had me look at things differently.''
Q: Who was the professor?
BN: "Professor Zimmerman.''
Q: How convinced are you that you'll play in the NFL?
BN: "Not enough, I guess. It's a dream, but I'm not putting all my eggs in that basket. I'll give it a shot; if it works out, great. If not, I'll have a great education to back me up.''
Q: Should student-athletes be paid?
BN: "No, I don't think so. We put in a lot of time, but it's still not professional. Even though I wish we were at times, I don't think we should be.''
Q: Have you experienced a more intense couple of weeks than the last two, where you face the No. 1 team in the nation, then go on the road to play No. 15?
BN: "No. Most memorable two weeks of my life.''
Q: Is there one moment that stands out? Obviously, the play you made at Iowa was huge, but is there another?
BN: "When the students rushed the field after Ohio State and the insanity that ensued after that. Unforgettable.''