April 17, 2009

Restoring confidence following short slump

MADISON, Wis. - One would be hard pressed to see a deeper cornerback rotation than the one Wisconsin has been working with this spring. While no games will be played for four and a half months, one of the up and coming corners this spring has been Marcus Cromartie.

After Thursday's practice, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with Cromartie. The following is a question and answer with the redshirt freshman:

Overall, how is spring going for you now that it is kind of winding down?

Cromartie: It's been up and down. I think I started really strong and the fact that I was just making plays and stuff. I kind of regressed a little these last few weeks, but I'm starting to get my confidence back. I'm just hoping for a big spring game and then looking forward to fall camp and getting ready to compete all over again.

As far as confidence as a defensive back, is that the most important thing you need?

Cromartie: I really think it is. I feel like what you don't want to do is make one bad play then have it be a slippery slope where you make three or four bad plays. I really believe in the fact that you have to have a short-term memory because all DB's are going to make mistakes. When you get beat on a big play, you just have to come back and regain your confidence and come back and try to play well again.

Did spring ball go as how you expected it to go?

Cromartie: You know what, I'm not used to practicing indoors in the spring, but it was nice. I think it went pretty smoothly. We got some good work, especially when we are practicing in the afternoons compared to how they practiced in the mornings last time. Last year, they said they didn't get as much good work. They say we're getting good work in and I'm confident in my abilities so I'm just looking forward to being on the playing field next fall.

How would you characterize yourself as a player? Are you kind of a physical back…

Cromartie: I would say I'm more of a cover corner and try to use my speed and stay on top of the receivers. I just try to be competitive with everything I do. I don't like to lose at nothing so I just keep on playing.

Do you feel like you've put in a pretty good bid to get some time in the rotation this year?

Cromartie: What it is about me is I just got to stay consistent. I think that's a huge part of being a DB and not letting one good play get to you and not letting one bad play get to you, just keep on playing. I just work on my technique and I feel I'll do well this fall.

You've got to like the depth of this unit, don't you?

Cromartie: Yeah, we actually really do. I think we're one of the deepest positions on the whole team and we can all play. I know the coaches are excited about being able to use all of us and I'm excited as well.

You have some friendly competition between each other, some smack talking?

Cromartie: Yeah, we're all pretty close honestly. But, we are all competitive and we all want to play so we all have a chip on our shoulders.

You mentioned practicing indoors, how did you like your first Wisconsin winter?

Cromartie: Actually, I got to say it was tough for me. Especially when you're waking up. I'm looking at my clock and you know, I got the weather or what not, and it says something like negative 13 and I'm just like, 'Oh, my goodness, how I'm going to get out.' I went through a span of just waking up, putting clothes on and leaving. You know, I'm finally getting out there and try to enjoy my day a little bit more now that the sun's out. I'm feeling good, healthy and I'm happy.

On Saturday, it will be the first time you'll be able to play in front of some fans. I know it probably won't be packed here, but you'll have a decent amount of people.

Cromartie: Yeah, you know, I'm just excited. I'm just excited to compete and go against some good competition. You know, Nick Toon is looking real good right now and whenever you get to go against good players you always feel like you get the best out of your work.

Is he (Toon) the toughest?

Cromartie: They're all, I kind of categorize them. Toon, he's real physical. Then you got guys like Garrett Graham and Isaac Anderson, they're real quick. You've got to tempo yourself with them. All those receivers have their own edge.

You guys are pretty young, who's the leader of the unit right now?

Cromartie: I think just by the way he plays, I think Aaron Henry is a big time leader. And then just hyping the defense up, Jay Valai, he talks a lot. He's actually a good guy, but he keeps the defense hyped. I like him, I like him a lot.

The following is the audio file from the interview:
Cromartie, 4/16/09

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