With the linebacker position being one of the most critical positions this season with the loss of All-American Chris Borland, redshirt sophomore Vince Biegel will be relied more than most this season. Appearing in all 13 games last season, Biegel isn’t short of experience. He has had two years learning under Borland, among others, and will need to have a great year in order to make the linebacking core relevant.
Stats: Made two starts last season after playing in just two games in 2012 (received a medical redshirt) … Finished the year with 22 tackles (19 solos) …Registered three tackles for loss, two sacks and two pass deflections.
Strengths: Biegel has impressive speed and aggressiveness. He is able to disrupt gaps and make a running back work to get through him. He also has great tackling technique that he uses to make big plays when it matters most.
Weaknesses: Although Biegel is quick and is aggressive, he sometimes struggle shedding blockers off him when it comes to giant linemen. In the Big Ten, there are elite offensive lines and he’ll need to work on getting past them quicker to get into the backfield.
Why he is where he is: Biegel falls just outside the top 10 but could easily be higher. The Badgers will need to rely on him to make big plays and limit big plays from opposing teams. His quickness and aggressiveness will be key to the Badgers success this season.
Overall: Biegel will be looked at this season to attempt to fill Borland’s void as much as possible. The coaching staff will rely on Biegel with his experience, and he will need to play very well in order for the Badgers to be a successful defensive team. Look for Biegel to be a legitimate threat.
Up Next: We crack the top 10 with a player who wasn’t even planning on coming to Wisconsin, but has developed into one of the best young players on Wisconsin’s roster.
Note: This is not a list of the team's 30 best players or a series about past success, but rather a list of which players are the most critical to the team’s success in 2014. The list was created based on a player’s overall importance, impact on the field, the player’s position and expectations. True freshmen were not considered for this season.