Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 1/1/12
Los Angeles - Seven years later, Kevin Zeitler still remembers the night he decided to play college football . Zeitler was in the middle of his freshman year at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Football wasn't his passion at the time. He was a 6-foot-4, 230-pound freshman preoccupied with trying to fit in. Then he watched Southern California whip Oklahoma, 55-19, in the Bowl Championship Series title game. "It was weird," Wisconsin's senior offensive guard said. "I was just watching. All the kids say when they are little: 'I want to play at Wisconsin. I want to play college football .' "But the statistics show that doesn't happen very often. And freshman year of high school I didn't really care much in a way. I was just going through it, having fun, trying to fit in and everything. "Then during the SC-Oklahoma game I remember them doing a special on Oklahoma and a chart pops up with sizes, all 320 (pounds) or something like that.. "I was 6-4, 230 at the time so I'm kind of small.. I remember USC destroying, absolutely destroying them. I don't know, it just clicked I guess. It was just very impressive and kind of made me want to be part of a situation like that." So Zeitler started doing hundreds of pushups, lifting, chugging protein shakes and eating anything within reach. He hit 270 pounds by the end of his freshman year. "That wasn't good weight but I had to get the weight up," he said. "I rebuilt it over the next year and it was a solid 280." Zeitler enters the Rose Bowl against Oregon a 320-pound All-American who should hear his name called next spring during the National Football League draft. "He is one of those guys who did pushups and ate until he was bigger," redshirt junior center Peter Konz said. "And then when he got here, it was film room all the time. Very few people have seen him go out. He has that type of work ethic." Gilbert suffers setback: Defensive end David Gilbert, sidelined since suffering a broken right foot preparing for the Big Ten opener against Nebraska, aggravated the injury recently and is again wearing a protective walking boot. "I just tweaked it again," said Gilbert, who aggravated the injury Dec. 23 during UW's final practice before departing for Los Angeles. "It wasn't at full strength and, truth be told, I wasn't ready to be doing all those hard moves." Gilbert hopes to participate in winter conditioning drills in February but he isn't going to push himself this time. He expects to be ready for spring practice and should have two seasons of eligibility remaining. "I'm taking it slow and letting the doctor do his job this time," Gilbert said. "It's not worth it. I don't want to have this creep into next season." Beefy battle: UW beat Oregon in the traditional Beef Bowl. Players from both teams had dinner at Lawry's in Beverly Hills. Oregon went on Wednesday and UW went Thursday. UW's players downed 723 pounds of prime rib; Oregon checked in at 612 pounds. UW was led by sophomore guard Travis Frederick, who downed eight slabs of prime rib (13 ounces apiece). "I was a little sweaty," said the 330-pound Frederick, who ate seven pieces last year. "I felt pretty good - not great. I didn't feel normal. I think my body is used to things like that, unfortunately. "When you go out for wings and have 50 of them on a normal basis. .. You've got to feed the body. I can't keep a girlish figure like this." Subtle is better: UW, which is the road team for the Rose Bowl, unveiled its uniforms for the game. UW will wear white pants and white tops. The big change is that rose petals have been placed inside the uniform numbers. "I love them, man," senior safety Aaron Henry said. "It's something traditional and very, very subtle. Wisconsin is going to be Wisconsin. Everybody loves to change their jerseys and come up with new styles. But Wisconsin will stay true to ourselves and stay who we are.". Copyright 2011, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.) Copyright, 2011, Journal Sentinel, All Rights Reserved.
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