Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - April 17, 2022

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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38 // VARSITY April 17, 2014 To even be mentioned in the same breath with someone as accomplished as Van Noy is flattering to Schobert, who was barely on Wisconsin's ra- dar coming out of Waukesha West High School. It wasn't until late in the recruiting process that the Badgers invited him to walk on. "That's pretty high praise," he said of the Van Noy comparison. "Kyle was a great player for BYU and I've watched a lot of his film and highlights on YouTube. He's explosive. I like watching his pass rush because he's very nifty with his hands ― get- ting on and off (offensive) tackles and just making plays." Schobert is a self-professed college football fan. Moreover, he's a fan of stellar linebacker play. As such, he has enjoyed watching Michigan's Jake Ryan, a 6-3, 230-pound senior. Last spring, Ryan tore his ACL but was still named a team captain and played in eight games with five starts in 2013. Among the more elite NFL linebackers, Green Bay's Clay Matthews and Denver's Von Miller have been must-see-TV for Schobert. "They're kind of freaks," he said out of respect for their uniqueness as dominant athletes. "But you can still learn from them." Critiquing both All-Pros, he noted how Mat- thews "plays so physically and his hand placement and feet are so great" while Miller is ''so explosive." Overall, he said, "They make tackles all the time" which has made an impression with Schobert, a young, still inexperienced student of the game. "He (Schobert) is in a great situation," Borland said. "He just needs to continue to work the pro- cess. Coach (Dave) Aranda is a great coach to play under. He can learn a lot from him. He just needs to grow in that position. Like I said earlier, the role is perfect for him." At the start of spring practice, Schobert took reps at inside linebacker ― where the Badgers must fill the void left by Borland's departure ― adding to the number of positions that he has played at Wis- consin. He was a wide receiver (No. 8) and a safety (No. 19) before moving to linebacker (No. 58). "That was great for my overall understanding of the game," Schobert said of his position switch, however temporary. "Just to learn what the inside 'backer is doing you know a lot more about what the D-line is doing because you're fitting off them and the safeties are fitting off of you." When he was returned to outside linebacker, he said, "I knew what everyone was doing and where my help was and what I can do outside that maybe is not in the job description but, if I can get away with it, I can make more plays." A little knowledge can sometimes go a long way. "I always think doing more helps you under- stand the game better," said Borland, the first UW defender to register three 100-plus tackle seasons since Pete Monty in the mid-'90s. "It will probably help him in some regard (to play inside). But his natural spot is outside at F-linebacker." Schobert likes being on the edge of the defense. "You have to make a read and go, whether it's the A- gap or C-gap," he said of playing inside. "It's a little bit slower (outside); you have one responsibility in- stead of potentially a couple and there's less congestion, definitely." He added that the only exception is "on the pow- er when they try to bring everybody towards you and they've got three guys running full speed" in your direction. And that's why he would like to get his weight up to 240 because it would be "easier to hold the edge with more mass." With more upper body strength, he also said, "I'd be able to hand fight with tackles and tight ends a little better and that's a big thing." Especially since every team on the schedule will feature offensive tackles who weight more than 300 pounds. In general, Schobert appreciates the versatility that is afforded the F, or Field, linebacker. Schob- ert got his only career start there last season at Arizona State opposite Brendan Kelly. Borland and Ethan Armstrong were the starters inside against the Sun Devils. "It's a little bit of everything," Schobert said. "You're dropping into coverage; sometimes playing man to man on tight ends. You're playing the edge of the defense; sometimes you're pass rushing and running stunts inside. You have a lot of freedom to do a lot of things and make a lot of plays." TOGETHER, RUSHING OFF THE EDGES OF THE DEFENSE, BIEGEL AND SCHOBERT SHOULD BE EFFECTIVE PRESSURING THE QUARTERBACK.

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