Country Jam Volunteers Network, Talk Football

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Even in July, on the Country Jam grounds, during a construction project, catching passes is what Jeremy Vetterkind is thinking about.

"Pretty much all year round you gotta have football on your mind."

This is the second time he's worked with UW-Eau Claire players to put up that big metal thing that towers over the stage at the Jam.

"I kind of know what to expect and how everything goes up."

Just like on the gridiron, it doesn't work without cameraderie and communication.

"When you try to do something by yourself it's tough," said Blugold Offensive Lineman Brandon Basken, "But when you've got 3 to 4 guys lifting, it's easier"

It'll take two full days to put it up but only one to bring it back down, and although Jeremy may not be back for that, a bunch of his teamates will."

They'll all end up better off because of the money they'll raise, part of $60,000 organizers will pay out to the service groups who help out this week.

"We've done a lot of stuff with the money we gain from this like building fences around our field," Vetterkind said.

"It helps raise some money for our food for two-a-days," said Basken

The time they spend is time saved for Jam organizers who don't have to find workers on their own, and then there's the conversation between each crank of the wrench and team lift.

It's a first down for Blugolds and Cardinals alike.

"When I came in, I didn't know anybody so it's a pretty good chance to see how it is to talk to some older guys," Basken said.

Even for Jeremy, who's a little unsure if he'll end up working with these guys at UW-Eau Claire.

"They said be ready if it comes."

He'll be one step closer because of his time on the team of volunteers, where college player and college prospect are the only two positions to play.