Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


DeCremer keeps his motor running

[media-credit name=’BEN CLASSON/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]DeCremer_BC[/media-credit]In a season filled with high expectations for the team, defensive lineman Kirk DeCremer has found instant success.

The former UW Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year and redshirt freshman has already made quite the splash in his first two games for the Badgers. In only his second play from scrimmage at the college level, DeCremer used his explosiveness off the line to make a terrific special teams play by blocking a Washington State punt. In his next outing against UNLV, he finished the game with two tackles and a sack for a 9-yard loss.

Although many Badger fans have yet to become familiar with DeCremer, both coaches and players believe his decision to redshirt his freshman year will enhance his development as a player.


"You have five years to play, and you are eligible to play four of those years," defensive line coach Randall McCray said. "The three years in the middle are always the same. Is that first one or that fifth one better? The fifth year is always better because of the experience."

When asked about his redshirt experience, DeCremer acknowledges that taking a year off to learn the intricacies of the lineman position has given him a leg up on this season's competition.

"It was great," DeCremer said. "Playing against the Outland Trophy winner (former UW left tackle Joe Thomas) on a daily basis definitely helped me out. Being around here for a year, you definitely get to know the guys."

Around Camp Randall, coach McCray's intensity and passion for the game rubs off on his linemen. When asked about DeCremer, McCray was quick to point out the intensity and savvy pass-rushing skills he sees developing.

"He is aggressive. He always attacks the ball off the line of scrimmage," McCray said. "You can always calm a guy down, but it is hard to teach a guy to be aggressive."

DeCremer's knack for being around the ball and speed off the line of scrimmage instantly drew the attention of the coaching staff.

"That's the first impression you get of the kid," McCray said, "whether or not he is tough or aggressive."

Although he is excited at every opportunity to see the field, DeCremer remains humble about his play and understands that he must continue to make strides during practice to cement his spot on the line.

"It definitely feels great; I was put in some great situations to make some plays," DeCremer said. "I just tried to do the best I could when I was out there."

Coaches and players alike have been quick to praise DeCremer for his blue-collar work ethic and pass-rushing skills.

"He has a lot of talent," defensive tackle Nick Hayden said. "He uses the right technique and is a very sound player.

"He brings a lot to the table and the more he plays in the game, the better he gets."

According to Hayden, DeCremer has a bright future ahead of him.

"As long as he does the right things and watches film, he's going to get better as a player," Hayden said.

McCray said he is impressed by DeCremer’s natural pass-rushing ability.

When asked about what he considers his own strengths, DeCremer pointed to the football intangibles — football IQ and pass-rushing mentality — he developed during his illustrious career at Verona Area High School, just south of Madison.

"I want to get [to the quarterback], and I won’t stop [until I do]," he said. "My motor is running full speed all the time."

However, DeCremer acknowledges there are improvements he must make to his game.

"I need to work on my technique and knowing where I'm supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there," DeCremer said. "I have a good feel for the ball, but I need to master the defense and know what's happening all the time."

Although the defensive line hasn’t been as stable as the coaching staff hoped, as several key components have missed time — Jamal Cooper was kicked off the team for conduct detrimental to the team, Kurt Ware isn’t back to 100 percent following offseason knee surgery and Matt Shaughnessy had to attend to his ill brother — DeCremer has been a model of consistency in the early goings.

As Wisconsin moves into Saturday’s game against The Citadel, one thing’s certain: DeCremer’s motor will keep running.

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