Bondoc making the most of his opportunities with the Badgers

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MADISON, Wi. Growing up in Madison, WI, Evan Bondoc has always had a love for Wisconsin football.

"We lived right down Monroe Street so during games, especially big ones we could open our windows and hear the crowd and stuff during a touchdown," the Badgers senior safety said.

Bondoc played football at Edgewood High School. He didn't have any big division one offers coming out of high school but he hoped to become a walk-on for the Badgers. He didn't know if his dream would ever become a reality, until he got a phone call saying a spot had opened up.

"When I first came in here just walking, around and being on the field and seeing at the time 'these O-linemen are huge'. It was a dream come true to just be here," Bondoc said.

The initial shock eventually went away, but Bondoc's work ethic didn't, and by his red-shirt junior season, he was put on scholarship.

"It was probably the most emotion that I've heard from him," said Bondoc's mother, Jean. "We know he's worked really, really hard for that and that he didn't expect that but it was just a really nice validation of his work."

"It's something you always want as a walk-on," Bondoc said. "It's always the goal is to earn a scholarship eventually. I think the coolest part was getting to call them and tell them (his parents).

Bondoc didn't see much time on the field, but he stayed ready, and with multiple injuries to the badgers safeties this season, he finally got his shot. He earned his first career start against Illinois.

"I knew it was a great opportunity to just go and have fun," Bondoc said. "Just being out there playing is fun so i was really excited for it."

So excited, he may have forgotten to mention that little de tail to mom and dad.

"He didn't tell us that," Jean said laughing. "I understand why. He was really very focused."

"We had heard from some friends that they had heard he might be starting so when they started to announce the starting lineups, I was like 'ok, if it's happening I better video tape this," Bondoc's father, Norman said. "I started recording them showing the starting lineups and there he was."

Through all of the ups and downs, Bondoc is thankful he gets to put on the badger uniform, and his experience over the past five years has helped shape him into the person he is today.

"It's been a really fun experience," Bondoc said. "I think I've learned a lot and grown a ton as a person. This program has done so much for me as far as molding me into who i am today and I owe them everything and it's been an amazing experience.