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UW football players thrilled to play this fall, confident in safety protocols

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WKOW (MADISON)-- The Badger football players are ecstatic that the Big Ten reversed course and is playing this fall. Three of the Badger football players spoke with the media via zoom on Friday about getting the season underway.

"I know everyone was still hopeful, hopeful that we would have a season," Senior Isaiahh Loudermilk said. "We didn't know when it would come."

"Stay ready so you don't have to get ready," Senior Safety Eric Burrell said about his motto. "You don't know when that time is coming, and when that time comes it's go time."

Go time is now October 24 weekend, when the Big Ten football season is set to kick off. The Badgers are thrilled to get the opportunity they thought they were missing out on.

"It means everything," Senior Quarterback Jack Coan said. "Football is one of the most important things in my life, and just like a lot of guys on the team, if we didn't have it this fall, I don't really know what I would be doing."

"Me being a senior, I'm like I can't, I can't move forward without this," Burrell said.

Moving forward, it's on the players to be responsible off the field especially with having to miss 21 days if positive for COVID-19.

"We got to create our own bubble," Loudermilk said. "You know kind of isolate ourselves from the outside world if we are planning on being safe and being able to make it the whole season."

The Badgers have not played a football game since the Rose Bowl and now have limited time to get ready for the season opener, but all three players on the zoom call agree that this year's team could be something special.

"We know what pieces we had, and we know what pieces are being added, some new faces coming in, so just being able to be around those guys, see their mentality, know who they are," Loudermilk said.

"I think we play good as a team," Burrell said. "We always do our one of eleven, don't get too big, don't get too low."

"Throughout this whole off-season, even if we didn't know if we were going to have a season or not, everyone just put their head down and worked as hard as they good."

The Badgers are one of the few Big Ten schools not to have anyone opt-out of the season.

"It definitely means a lot," Coan said. "It is just a testament to the guys on this team and the guys the coaches recruit and the guys the coaches develop. I feel like we've created a great culture in Wisconsin football, just a bunch of great guys who love the game and want to play no matter what."

They are confident in the new safety protocols the Big Ten has in place in order to play this fall. https://bigten.org/news/2020/9/16/the-big-ten-conference-adopts-stringent-medical-protocols-football-season-to-resume-october-23-24-2020.aspx

"I do feel one hundred percent confident," Burrell said. "I think they got a safe and good protocol that we can abide by and I'm excited for that."

"They've been doing a lot of work to keep us safe and to keep everyone around us safe, so I trust everything they have us going through," Loudermilk said. "Not one bit of me is questioning anything anyone's telling me to do."

Daily testing will begin Sept 30.


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Karley Marotta

Weekend Sports Anchor

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