UW linebacker growing on the field and on campus: ‘It’s important to not be 1-dimensional’

MADISON — College is a time for personal growth, and for Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Zack Baun, that’s taking place on the field and on campus.

The Badgers have had a string of standout players at linebacker in recent seasons and Baun hopes to join that group. For now, the UW junior said he’s very happy just being back on the field after missing all of last season with a foot injury.

Zack Baun

Zack Baun

“I have never sat out a whole season. I’m a competitive guy and that really hurt me, but to be able to be back is awesome — back with the guys and with the team. To be out there as a starter, making plays, it was like, it was just a great opportunity this year for me that I got to step into such a big role,” said Baun.

Baun has been in the spotlight since his days leading the Brown Deer High School team to great heights, where he signed his letter of intent with Wisconsin. He had the full support of the school, as well as representation from West Bend East, where he started his high school career. While some guys struggle with adjusting to the college level, Baun was already well versed in transitioning.

Zack Baun

“I was a wide receiver at West Bend East. Then I go to Brown Deer and I’m a quarterback. You just have to step into the role. I’m a competitor, so wherever I am on the field, I am going to compete and do my best and try my hardest and give it my all,” said Baun.

Before he got to Wisconsin, he changed high schools. Once he arrived at UW, he changed positions, and now that he’s been on campus, he has changed majors.

Zack Baun

“I’ve been focusing on not being one-dimensional — not being just a football player. Like, I won’t go on campus wearing football clothes. I switched my major from kinesiology to retail, which is a big flip, but I really like retail and really like that I am doing in school. I love learning about it and I don’t know where I’ll fit in the retail world, whether it’s a data analyst or a buyer. I don’t know. I think it’s important to not be one-dimensional,” said Baun.

Baun is proving to be anything but.

The Wisconsin Badgers will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they visit Iowa Saturday night, Sept. 22.