Rose Bowl Recall: Jake Pedersen

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Kocorowski

The Wisconsin Badgers return to Pasadena when they take on the No. 6 Oregon Ducks on Jan. 1 in the 106th edition of the Rose Bowl Game.

To commemorate the accomplishments of the program both past and present, presents its "Rose Bowl Recall" series. We've asked former players about either one moment or one experience that stands out from their time out west. It could be from the game itself, it could be from one of the various annual pregame festivities that take shape, or it could be from after the clock strikes zero on the scoreboard.

Be sure to check out our previous installments of the series with fullback Bradie Ewing, kicker Vitaly Pisetsky, safety Scott Nelson and offensive lineman Mark Tauscher.

On Monday, a three-time Rose Bowl participant shares his experiences out in Los Angeles which includes some fun at a comedy club.

Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity.

TE Jake Pedersen

According to UW's records, the versatile tight end played in 53 career games for the Badgers and finished his career with 104 catches for 1,394 yards and 17 touchdowns. He currently ranks seventh in school history for touchdown receptions.

In 2012, Pedersen was named the Kwalick-Clark Big Ten tight end of the year when he caught 27 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns. During that redshirt junior campaign, he also claimed a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches.

"Ah, that is a tough question because everything that just entails the Rose Bowl is just an awesome experience. Wisconsin really put on, and the Rose Bowl committee in general, put on just first-class amenities when we were there. I don't know. For me, like I was always a big locker room guy. I loved hanging out with my teammates, and in the years we got to go there, we got to go to the improv [club] for comedy night. It was closed down just for us. You know, they had dinner for us. We got to listen to some comedians go up, and it was just a great time hanging out with teammates, everybody's kind of getting made fun of. I really enjoyed all the different Rose Bowls we got to participate in." Do you remember who was the the leading comedian and any notable jokes?

"I don't ... The one guy is actually pretty popular. He's actually on a few TV shows now. He's actually made a pretty good name for himself. I just I can't think of it off the top my head. 

"Do you remember Jake Current at all? He was an o-lineman. He was like trying to do jokes at people, and he ended up taking the brunt of the jokes from the comedians, and it was just a good time. 

"If you know Jake, that's just his personality. He's always laughing, joking, having a good time. So good to see the comedians kind of go at him pretty hard, and he took it like a champ. He had a lot of fun with it as well, but again, just overall the entire camaraderie of being able to go there and do that was awesome. Almost everything you got to do at the Rose Bowl was great. I just remember the improv nights being really a lot of fun." What does it mean to get to the Rose Bowl three times?

"Well, it is great to get there three times. It would have been even better to win at least one of them. I mean I was very, very fortunate to play on some very good teams with a lot of great players. You know, Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt, Nick Toon, Jared Abbrederis, Montee Ball, James White, Melvin [Gordon]. You could go on with the list. It's not even getting into some of the offensive line we had or even some of the defensive guys. I was very fortunate to play on great teams that obviously led to me being able to have a lot of success. Obviously, getting to make three Rose Bowls is not an easy feat by any means. But yeah at the end of the day, it would have been nice to take home one of those championships." What's the one thing you would tell the current players on this roster about the experience, what to take in, or any advice that you'd have for them?

"It's a historical event. I mean the Rose Bowl's been there for a long time. A lot of great teams have played in it, but really just take in every day. It's not easy to get there. You got to beat a lot of good football teams to be able to make it to the Rose Bowl.

"I don't know what kind of events they got planned for the guys nowadays ... realizing that I've been gone six, seven years already, I'm sure some stuff has changed. Every day, we were there, there was a new experience. If it was getting to go to Disney getting to go to the improv, getting to go to the Lawry's Steakhouse for the prime rib dinner. All of those different events were fun. Getting to practice with  the team out in California. Getting to witness the Coliseum, just a historical stadium in itself. 

"Just take it all in. It is -- I don't want to call it a once in a lifetime experience because I obviously got to experience it three times -- but it's not something that comes around very easy and very often so just take it in. Realize you're going up against a really great team, and it'd just be awesome for Wisconsin to be able to get back on the winning side of the Rose Bowl, so I hope they play well."