Each week, former Madison La Follette and University of Wisconsin long-snapper Kyle Wojta will share his thoughts as he auditions for a shot at the NFL, likely as an undrafted free agent.
My journey as a Wisconsin Badger was not the most glamorous, and to many, was relatively unknown. I consider that a good thing because as a long snapper, if people know who you are it is most likely because you made a mistake. Hopefully, many of you Badger fans reading this article have not heard of me before -- or if you have, that it was because I made a few tackles along the way rather than a bad snap.
Still, I am truly blessed as a long snapper, just as I've been blessed to be a part of the Wisconsin Badgers team, community, and family my entire life. I was raised as a Badger fan on the east side of Madison and religiously followed the team as I grew up. My father attended the University of Wisconsin and was one of the many people who bought season tickets after Barry Alvarez made his famous quote, "if you don't have season tickets, you better buy them now because you won't be able to for long."
Growing up, all my Saturdays in the fall were consumed by tailgating and watching Badgers games from Section X, row 29, seats 1-4 with my parents (Todd and Kay) and brother (Eric). Since the time my father purchased the tickets in the early 1990's I have only missed three or four Badgers home games - and then, only because I had my own little football games with the East Side Sharks -- and that is something I am truly proud of. My brother, Eric, has not missed any home games in that time, and I know he is very proud of that as well.
So it is easy to see that I dreamed about the opportunity to play for the Badgers for as long as I can remember. In the past few years, as a member of the team, I often would think back to those days when I was younger and reminisce about what I thought it would be like to play for Wisconsin. Even this past week, during the lead-up to the Senior Bowl, I took the time every night to remember my past, and my journey leading up to where I am today. I often think about all my friends and family (and many others) who have helped me along the way and I would be remiss if I did not thank them for helping me, challenging me, and molding me into the man I am now.
As my journey progresses to the next level, I try not to lose sight of where I came from and why I started playing football in the first place. I play football because I love the game and I have fun playing the game. I believe people involved with football at higher levels too often lose sight of that fact, and I do my best to have fun and enjoy the game with my coaches and teammates. I look forward to writing these journals the next few weeks, and in that time I will give you Badger fans an inside look at my journey as a football player leading up to the draft. Until next week ...