Area players gear up for upcoming Rose Bowl
Local athletes will be on display in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day (4 p.m. locally, ESPN), as the Wisconsin Badgers attempt to win the prestigious crowns after back-to-back close calls in the same game. The Badgers will face Stanford in Pasadena, Calif.
Pewaukee native and redshirt freshman Derek Watt, who had one catch for 10 yards in the Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 1 (a shellacking of Nebraska), will be among those on display. Watt, a converted linebacker made 12 catches for 150 yards in 2012 and also finished with 12 tackles and a forced fumble.
Watt joined former Arrowhead standout Derek Landisch as Academic All-Big Ten this season. Landisch, a sophomore, recorded two tackles in the Big Ten title game and made his first career start for the Badgers Nov. 24 against Penn State, recording a career-high 11 tackles. He has 28 tackles for the year, including one for loss, and a pass defended.
Landisch's former high school teammate, punter Drew Meyer, was consensus honorable mention in his redshirt freshman season. He hit a career-long 61-yard punt among his three chances against Nebraska and finished the year with a 41.2 average on 73 punts.
The Badgers will be in a unique position, helmed by current Wisconsin athletics director and former head football coach Barry Alvarez taking the reins for the game. Alvarez, who won Rose Bowl titles three times in 1994, 1999 and 2000, took over when head coach Bret Bielema accepted the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas.
Alvarez recently announced that former Utah State coach Gary Andersen would officially succeed Bielema next season.
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