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April 21, 2017

Paul Chryst

Madison, Wisconsin

PAUL CHRYST: I thought it was a really good spring for this team and for -- what makes a good spring, I think it's if each individual can get better, and I thought we had a lot of guys do that, and certainly there's some schematic things that you look at, I think, in spring football, and we were able to do that and introduce it to the players, and for them to understand it, it takes reps.

I think that this team started to find itself, whether it be leadership, new roles that guys have played a lot, take on, and so I think it was a good second phase of getting ready for the season.

I thought we got a lot done in the winter workout part of it, and that's the first phase, and spring ball is the second. Now the kids need to focus in on finishing up this semester the right way and finals, and then get a chance to go home, and we'll come back right after Memorial Day, and we'll start our summer workout and then get ready for camp.

I like what they've done to this point, and I thought it was overall a good spring.

Q. The number of reps Jack and Karé were allowed to get today and throughout the spring, how much do you think that helped them?
PAUL CHRYST: Well, I think it helps them a lot, and to their credit, really both of them, Karé was here last year, but this was their first spring, and I thought they gave themselves a chance to get better by the work they put in, the studying, and as you saw tonight, and many of you came to every practice, it didn't always look pretty, but there's great learning -- even today with Jack, you know, if you're going to throw the ball away, you've got to make sure it gets all the way out of bounds. You know, that one bothered him, which means I think he's going to learn from that, and so I thought both -- it was really good for them.

Q. How much progress will (indiscernible) make?
PAUL CHRYST: You know, I thought Tyler had a really good spring, and I think probably that natural progression of -- he understood what to do, and I felt like by the end of spring, he trusted it, and therefore was playing more. I think when you do that, you can finish better, you can focus on technique a little bit more. So I thought that happened. I thought he -- boy, he did a ton this spring. He got a lot of reps, and you saw every one of those, and the way he approaches it, it's important to him. So he's going to take advantage of those reps. Tyler is not a guy that really has many wasted moments, so it was really good, and at times I felt like he wasn't in his first spring, especially in the offensive line. There's so much, and I thought he did a really nice job this spring.

Q. Leon Jacobs didn't play tonight, but did he show you enough in the spring?
PAUL CHRYST: He did, and even though he probably got 15, 20 reps tonight in the practice component of it, and he showed up a lot in that. I'm excited for Leon and about Leon. There's a guy that would do anything for this team, and he did it. Last year at this time he was playing fullback, and then he jumped in and had injuries and was playing inside backer, but I think the outside is a really good fit for him, and I thought what he did and Tibs did -- we had talked about this, Leon came to me right when we came back from the bowl game, and I think he's a guy that is capable of having a really big impact on this team, and I'm excited for him to have that senior year that you're playing your best football. He works. He's talented. I think he'll be really a big part of what we do defensively.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
PAUL CHRYST: Absolutely there's a chance, right. I mean, I think that we've always kind of had the philosophy of get your best players on the field, and when there is versatility, then it allows maybe not just your best -- if you're an inside guy or an outside guy. I think he said to me tonight, I'm much more athletic than people give me credit for. But he did look -- he didn't look out of place. How it's going to shape out, just I really don't know. But it's good, and spring is a great time to work on those things.

We'll have camp and different things will come up in camp where we'll have to shuffle it, and we'll see, but I think whatever we need to do to get the best five on the field, and then you're developing your depth, and so the more guys can do, play different spots, whether it be right side, left side, center guard or tackle, it's helpful. No doubt.

Q. You mentioned the bowl game. Did you mean he came to you guys after the bowl game?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, he talked -- that's what he came in as, and he wanted to let us know that he's willing to do it, and we'd be excited about it, because you know, you also don't want to -- you're always conscious of you don't want to mess with a kid, but he brought that, and we started him at inside because we wanted to see some of the younger guys and kind of where he was at, and we were so thin at the inside, but I thought he had a great approach to each day. It was fun to be around. He brought energy, and I think then he started, I think, getting a little bit of a feel and a niche and confidence came with that, and it just kind of kept fueling him. He was fun to -- really, he was really good the last half of the spring. It was fun to see.

Q. In what ways do you think (indiscernible) and James complement each other, and how far do you think they came this spring?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, I think they do complement each other, and yeah, I think they're both -- they're very different styles, but they both have the ability to run inside and be physical, and I think they're capable of big runs. I'm anxious to see how Taiwan comes off of the off-season surgery. So we've got some depth there. They've just got to keep growing and keep working. But I think we've got guys that have played. Their role is going to be different than any role they've had to this point, but I like the group. I like the way they approach it, and yet they're -- I feel like they're still young. They've got to keep progressing.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
PAUL CHRYST: You know, I think at first it added more to his plate. You're seeing different box and more box, so he had to work at more -- he had to get out of his comfort zone, and yet I thought that as he did that and then got comfortable with it, I think it frees him up, and the physical -- what his physical strengths are and what he goes against plays to the end spot pretty well for him. And certainly kind of like with Connor, we've got guys that could bump in if you needed them to. But I think it was a really good spring for Garrett, and I thought it was a good spring for Isaiah, as well. Those two got a lot of work. It's a little bit of the luxury with Alec and Connor and Chikwe Obasih, but those guys have played a lot of football. So they didn't need as many reps. They needed work and they needed to improve things, but as far as when we were playing, Isaiah and Garrett got a ton of work, and it was good for them because we've got to build some depth there certainly.

Q. What can you say about Garrett Groshek?
PAUL CHRYST: Yeah, Garrett has done a great job from when he came in last year. You know, kind of went to him right before spring ball, and we knew he was a really good athlete, and we were trying to figure out what was the spot, and I think that the tailback has been good for him. There's a guy that puts in a ton of time, and he's smart, and he's always up in Coach Settle's office. He wants to be the best he can, and he's got some athleticism. He's got some size to him. So it was fun to see him this spring and see him develop and grow. There's a lot that goes into that position, particularly trying to find maybe could he be a third-down back. He did, he put himself in the mix pretty quickly. Pretty neat.

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