CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State linebacker D.J. Welch had a career high seven tackles against Wisconsin, and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
His breakout performance could be a sign of things to come.
"I was a little nervous," says Welch. "I just showed up and played my game, just had fun."
He was just having fun, tormenting the Badgers.
It was Welch's first career start after being one of a school record ten true freshmen to play last season.
"You know he's a young player," says Mike Riley. "He's learning more and more as he goes. I think he'll be a good player and get better and better."
Coaches and players agree that Welch's biggest strength on the field actually comes from the track. At Palm Desert High School, he set the record in both the 100 and 200 meter dash.
"My speed is probably my biggest strength," says Welch. "Especially since now I'm learning how to use it and read my keys."
As Welch speeds up, the game slows down.
"You just get smarter, you just react to what you see," says Welch. "You don't look at all the nonsense around you, you just key into your keys, just do what you're supposed to do."