“‘What’s up Hunty,’ Boom said. ‘Hunty growled.’”

Former Wisconsin football player Derrick Tindal is turning the page to the next chapter in his life. Literally.

He is currently writing his first novel — Taletrius Johnson: The Beginning of the End — a story that draws from his friends, family, and personal experiences.

Tindal admits that he didn’t enjoy reading when he was growing up. But his love for comics, cartoons, and the escape they provide him have helped him unearth this newfound talent.

“It became football for me. I don’t know why, but it’s just my passion switched over to it so fast. When I actually write the book, I get lost into it sometimes.”

The book, which is geared toward teens, is still in its early phases. But Tindal says he wants to inspire kids of all backgrounds and let them know that anything — even writing a book — is possible when you follow your passion. He plans to do this by giving today’s generation a hero they can more easily relate to.

“If these super heroes could deal with these stressors and stuff, then these real life stressors ain’t really nothing.”

The same can be said in regards to the disappointment Tindal faced during the draft process. But Tindal says the experience was a blessing in disguise for him. He now sees that there is more to life than football.

“I’m just thankful that I had a chance to go to college to see that [there’s more than football], because if I didn’t see that, who knows — I could have been the same statistic.”

And while former athletes aren’t particularly known for having a way with their words, Tindal says not to judge a book by its cover.

“I don’t think people are going to expect for me to do all I did in that book… I think I’m gonna surprise a lot of people.”

For the Badger Report, I’m Noa Rubnitz.