VSN recently caught up with former Reservoir standout and current University of Connecticut football player Tim Willman to talk about his experience as a Division-I player and his favorite memories from high school.
Former Reservoir standout Tim Willman is entering his third year with the UCONN Huskies and is expecting big things.
VSN: What was the experience like for the Huskies to play in a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl game last season?
Playing in the BCS game was awesome. Spending a week in Scottsdale, Arizona at a five-star resort in the middle of winter is never a bad thing, plus the gifts from the school and the bowl were nice. Playing in the Cardinals’ stadium was a great experience too, it was new and very high tech. The fans that came out to Phoenix, which isn’t cheap or quick, were also great, they added so much to the atmosphere during the week and during the game.
VSN: What are a few of your memories from the Fiesta Bowl?
Some memories are swimming in an outdoor pool in the beginning of January, taking my first trip ever out to Phoenix, playing in the stadium the Cardinals play in and playing Oklahoma, who is a perennial powerhouse.
VSN: Are you expecting big things from yourself as you enter your third year at UCONN?
I’m always expecting big things from myself, always setting the bar high. This year, I am acclimated with the switch from defensive end to defensive tackle. I am more comfortable, stronger, and know the new system as well as anybody. I am also expecting big things from the team, as I think everybody here is.
VSN: What was your favorite game or moment of the 2010 season? Why?
My favorite game was our overtime win versus West Virginia. Night game, home game, and our first win over WVU ever. They kept turning the ball over and fumbled on the one-yard line in overtime, which we recovered. Then we won the game and the fans all stormed the field, it was unforgettable.
VSN: What’s the process been like with a new coaching staff coming in to take over the program?
Getting a new coach is definitely interesting. We had to adjust to his new style, and learn a completely different system, offense, defense, and special teams. The schedule has not been too different, with minor tweaks thrown in. It’s just different because everything we were used to with the old staff had to get thrown out the window and we had to adjust to the new staff.
VSN: What's the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome as a college player?
Managing school work and keeping my grades up with football has been challenging. It is so much more of a commitment in college than high school, with obligations almost every day. Luckily, we have good counselors and tutors available to help us and keep us on the right track.
VSN: What have you done with your summer vacation away from class and football?
Well, there never is a summer break really. I’ve been at school along with the other scholarship players since the end of May taking classes and working out, getting mentally and physically prepared for the upcoming season.
VSN: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I don’t have any rituals or superstitions really, but I just like to put my head phones on and relax and clear my head. All of the guys are different - some like to get excited, pace around, yell and do that type of thing, but I've never been into that. Just leave me alone and give me my peace. My whole mindset and demeanor changes once we leave the locker room though.
VSN: What is your best high school football memory at Reservoir?
There are so many good memories at Reservoir with a lot of good people. One of my favorites was beating Atholton in overtime my senior year. You can’t really top beating your rivals at their stadium in overtime when a lot of your buddies play on the opposite team. Bragging rights.
VSN: What is something that most people probably don't know about you?
A lot of people don’t really know that I don’t watch a lot of movies. My buddies get on me about it all the time, I haven’t seen some classics like “The Waterboy,” “Remember the Titans,” and those types. Also, I really enjoy Pixar movies. Anything from “Toy Story” to “Up” to “Despicable Me.” They’re funny, entertaining, and light-hearted.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:47)