August 21, 2010

Garner working towards earning reps

MADISON - Looking at Manasseh Garner, one would think he's poised to be the next in line at UW's vaunted H-back position. But as of right now, two weeks into fall camp, it seems the freshman from Pittsburgh is making his strides at the wide receiver position.

At the conclusion of a recent practice, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with the prospect. The following is a question and answer with Garner.

Well, you're about two weeks into camp. How are your legs holding up?

Garner: They're holding up pretty strong. I think some of the upperclassmen told me ahead of time that your body is like your trophy right now. They stay on me and you're consistently icing and stretching and getting on the bike. Its really using your body like it's a trophy.

Have you experienced anything like this? In high school is it this bad during two-a-days?

Garner: I don't consider it bad. I think it's more pushing for the reasons we're striving. We're striving for excellence. It's longer, but other than that it's pretty cool. It's not too much of a difference.

Do you feel like you're picking things up as far as the offense goes, the playbook?

Garner: Most definitely. The coaches have really been helping me out a lot. The senior receivers talk one on one with me. Even when I'm out there running routes, I may run a route wrong. That's what it's about, learning and being a sponge. You're constantly learning and the players are constantly helping me out.

Are you set at wide receiver or is there still talk of moving you to tight end or H-back?

Garner: Right now I'm playing receiver. I'm not too sure what the future holds. The future stays in the coach's hands.

Are you enjoying it? Do you like the wide receiver spot?

Garner: Most definitely. I love playing receiver and I love tight end. It really doesn't matter. I want to win, my coaches want to win and my players want to win. Anyway I can help the team.

How would you characterize your game? It seems like you're a physical guy out there and you're not afraid to bump heads a little bit.

Garner: Fearless man. I'm a pretty faithful man to Christ. I'm a firm believer in him. I sacrifice my body. This is my team. I'm a warrior for my team, a soldier for my team. I've got to sacrifice my body for my team in order for us to win.

What's the biggest difference between the high school game and the college game that you've experienced?

Garner: The mental speed is definitely a big difference. In high school the playbooks aren't as thick. You're going over the same playbook every year so it's repetition. In college you're getting a new playbook or a new scheme every week. You've got to adjust and you've got to adjust fast.

Are you willing to do any special teams stuff? Do they have you doing any special teams work?

Garner: I'm doing some special teams work. In terms of returning and stuff, we'll see. We've got some pretty good skill players. We'll see how that goes.

How have the coaches said they're going to work you into the rotation at the wide receiver spot?

Garner: As of right now, we're all just rotating in right now. I'm not too sure about that concerning how they're going to go about that. As of right now I'm rotating in. I'm still learning, that plays a major role. I'm learning on the rotation level as of right now.

How have some of the older guys, the Nick Toon's and Isaac Anderson's of the world, maybe taken you under their wing?

Garner: Definitely Nick Toon and Isaac Anderson. I sit next to David Gilreath in the film room so they've definitely helped me out. We take notes everyday. David takes very great notes so I'm constantly working one on one with him. I go up to Isaac and Nick and they're helping me get out of my breaks and everything. They're definitely helpful.

Does that take some stress off of you? I mean, if you need a guy you need to ask questions to, you know you can go to these guys.

Garner: Most definitely. That's one thing. They're not going to be here next year so I've got to be a sponge, I've got to learn as much. I can't come in here being cocky or have a conceded attitude. I've got to be a sponge and soak up all the learning that I can while they're still here.

Game day is only two weeks away. That's got to be exciting.

Garner: Definitely. I'm very excited, very excited. I've just got to keep out here and keep grinding, trust in God and go hard on this field and stay healthy and everything.

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