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December 27, 2019

Garrett Groshek

Pasadena, California

Q. I want to talk about this kind of the path you and Tyler have been on. Obviously high school teammates coming in here, does that register for you guys as how kind of rare and special it is for two guys from a school that size to make the impact you guys had at Wisconsin?
GARRETT GROSHEK: When we first got here, not really. As we've been here for a few years now, four years, you kind of start to realize how special it is. And at first you don't really realize it, but as the end starts coming, then you start to realize it more.

Q. I talked to Biadasz a couple weeks ago. You were close in high school, but definitely got closer in college. What's it been since you guys came to Madison that's made that relationship grow even tighter?
GARRETT GROSHEK: Time. A lot more time, where you have your high school friends and you don't have all that communication and time with them anymore, whereas we never went different ways. We never had a chance to not talk to each other and not communicate and interact with each other. So that's really helped to grow our friendship.

Q. What is that interaction like when you guys go back home? It's got to be pretty cool, two guys that have been pretty pivotal players for the Badgers for three years now?
GARRETT GROSHEK: Yeah, it's nice, especially with the new field that they got done. But usually we stay pretty -- usually we're not there for very long so we don't get to see a whole lot of people. But it's always cool to go back and see some of your friends and family.

Q. I talked to Tyler about this yesterday. He said you guys have always had a chip on your shoulder, wanting to prove a small school didn't matter, coming out we can still be like impact players. Is that something you kind of felt as well?
GARRETT GROSHEK: Yeah, that's definitely something that both of us have had with us since we started playing sports, and just wanting to always get better, improve ourselves each and every time.

Q. Has Coach Leonhard been an example for you guys in that way because he came from a smaller school?
GARRETT GROSHEK: Obviously a lot of people came through and have done it before, so the blueprint was kind of laid out for us. And we knew if we kept working, kept working hard, that eventually it would pay off.

Q. We don't know yet officially if this is Tyler's last game, the NFL decision to make. What will you remember about being his teammate for as long as you have now?
GARRETT GROSHEK: Probably a lot of them. Our state championship in 2015, our senior year, was really special. And it's been every single game, whether it's this year or last year, just getting to enjoy it with each other. And that's kind of -- you don't remember necessarily certain plays or things like that, but just all the different memories, whether it's on the field or off the field, different things like that that we'll remember.

Q. Talking to Coach Lusic and Coach Chryst, they said both the same things where you guys have been leaders, doesn't matter what age you've been. Talked to Coach Lusic about you guys getting captains your junior year, and neither of you wanted to, but he made you. What do you think it is about the way you guys approach it that guys kind of gravitate towards you and follow what you guys do?
GARRETT GROSHEK: We both just try to lead by example and come in and put the work in. And both of us are kind of perfectionists and technicians and want to do everything the right way. And I think that's something that guys can look on, and whether it's try to be more like that or emulate it or it gives them something to attach themselves to.

Q. Looking at this game here, you've got another great defensive end, you've seen a lot of him in this year, in Thibodeaux. When you studied the Oregon defense, and him in particular, what stands out?
GARRETT GROSHEK: Just how multiple they are, how they make -- as far as a pre-snap, Darby stopped here pre-snap defense, they're probably the most aggressive defense we've seen all year, with different shifts and different disguises and things like that and how multiple they can be with their fronts.

And the Big Ten you weren't getting as much shifting and things like that where they do a lot of it. And it makes you be honest and having to watch the extra film to see if there's any keys or anything like that to what they're doing.

Q. You're looking at this game overall, how cool is it that late in your career you're finally getting to experience the Rose Bowl with the importance it has to this program?
GARRETT GROSHEK: It's fun. It's not just because it's the Rose Bowl; it's because of that group of guys that we have here. And this has been easily the closest team that I've been on. So it goes to show you how much of a difference something like that can make. And being able to do it with some of my best friends is what it makes it a lot more special.

Q. What do you think it's been that's made it so close to have that (indiscernible) team?
GARRETT GROSHEK: I think just everybody from last season coming back and really restarting after we didn't have as great a season last year, just restarting and kind of getting back, getting back to the grindstone, putting our heads down for a little bit and putting the work in.

I think that's something that through those days we were able to build a pretty good bond and it's carried over into the season.

Q. What do you think has made Jonathan so special or -- talked to you many times about this -- but this is a good chance, his last game, maybe. We'll see.

Q. You've worked with him in the backfield the whole time. What will you carry with you about what you did?
GARRETT GROSHEK: To be honest, the thing that makes him so special is not the abilities he has or the stats and the accomplishments that he has achieved, it's the type of person that he is and how he carries himself. Anyone you talk to -- I know I've heard Chryst say this, too, he's the most humble person you'll meet. In today's day and age, for someone to be that successful and that humble, you don't see very often.

And he shows respect to everybody. It doesn't matter if you walk into a building, whether it's the CEO or the janitor, he shows the same amount of respect to everybody. And that's why you see so many people supporting him and so many guys calling him a brother and things like that, so many people that are more excited about his accomplishments for him than he is for himself.

Q. From a football perspective what makes you go, wow, about the stuff he's done?
GARRETT GROSHEK: You've seen it his whole career, you just thought he was kind of a faster guy his freshman year and he became a really complete back by the end of his career where now he's really making a difference in the receiving game and being able to see all the work that he's been able to put into that to make -- for it to come to fruition this year, it's the kind of thing that his work ethic kind of makes a big difference and kind of separates him from some of the past guys.

Q. What do you think about he wasn't invited to the Heisman ceremony?
GARRETT GROSHEK: I haven't thought about it. The four guys that went, you know, they definitely deserved to be there. It just depends on how good a year everybody else has had and not necessarily if he was having a better year than some guys that have been invited in previous years. You kind of have to look at the whole country to see everybody's stats and how the season kind of stands up.

Q. Another guy maybe playing his last game is Tyler. Obviously you went to high school with him and he's become the best center in the country. In your mind, like, how did he get to that point, where he developed into the best at his position in college football? You've seen it for, what, eight years, seven years?
GARRETT GROSHEK: I mean just every day is the exact same approach. It's how can I get better and how can I improve at my craft. And he's attacked that full throttle. And now you're just starting to see all the accolades and awards and everything that comes with that consistent work ethic and putting in that work.

Q. When you're in the backfield and you're running the ball, do you notice the holes that he's creating? Maybe it's hard to focus on one guy, but this guy's consistently going to do his job and dominate the guy that --
GARRETT GROSHEK: Not necessarily on the field as much as, like, watching film and stuff, and you realize that you can always count on him, that he's going to win a majority of his battles, and that sometimes you can tell on the field.

Usually if it's him pulling or something or something that you're running behind him you can tell that he got it. But other than that you can go look at the film and see it.

Q. You've never been part of a team that lost a bowl game here. I think they've won five in a row. I know every year is different, but is there something you can pinpoint -- what is this program doing well in bowl prep? Is it, like, being motivated? Is it something else? Why have you consistently been able to win these games?
GARRETT GROSHEK: I think the big thing is Coach Chryst and the coaching staff do a good job being able to relate to players and being able to separate the bowl experience that's the fun part and always having it in the back of your mind that there's a reason that you're at this bowl game and that's to play a football game and win the football game.

So I think they have done a good job of constant reminders of that. And it just comes down to the players and all the older guys have been through it, been through bowl games where you know you have your fun early in the week. And then as we start getting closer and closer you start dialling into the game.

Q. Does this feel different being at the Rose Bowl than Cotton Bowl or Orange, other bowl games you've gone to?
GARRETT GROSHEK: Yes, every bowl is different. I don't know if it's just the scenery or the location, but every bowl has its uniqueness to it. Luckily I've been fortunate to be at some good bowls. So this definitely has a different feel to it, the whole LA and Santa Monica and everything around here has a cool vibe about it.

Q. I meant the weight or the significance.

Q. Because outside of the playoff, this is probably going to be the most watched bowl game.
GARRETT GROSHEK: I would say, absolutely. Especially for a Big Ten team and Pac-12 team, I think this definitely has a little more something to it. Just because of all the tradition and everything like that. It makes it a game that when the season starts coming to an end, you're like, yeah, I want to go to that bowl game and things like that.

And I know guys on our team really wanted to come here and I'm sure guys from Oregon really wanted to come here. And it should end up being a really good game.

Q. Have you talked to any other guys who have played in Rose Bowls, given you advice?
GARRETT GROSHEK: No, no one -- trying to think.

Q. Coach Chryst maybe would have been here as an assistant, '11 or '12 or '13?
GARRETT GROSHEK: I think Kyle Costigan, who is a strength -- I think he played in one. I think Warren Herring played with (indiscernible), Coach K, (indiscernible). But, like, as having someone come talk to us, no not really.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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