Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - April 17, 2022

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Page 38 of 75

39 The reps this spring have been invaluable in terms of his mental conditioning. In the past, he would get on a blocker and he would get tied up while he was thinking how to get off. "Being able to click a little bit faster mentally," he said, "you can play faster physically." Schobert has clicked with Vince Biegel, the B, or Boundary, linebacker. Together, rushing off the edges of the defense, they should be effective pres- suring the quarterback. Biegel and Schobert had 25 and 24 tackles last season, respectively. Both showed promise of developing into playmakers. "Vince is a real intense guy on game day," Schob- ert said. "This spring, he's settled down a lot more. He and Jesse (Hayes, also a B 'backer) are great to talk to. They're really good at pass rushing and I'd say I'm a little better in coverage from having played safety. It's great to bounce stuff off of them." Gary Andersen has been encouraged by what he has seen out of Biegel, a redshirt sophomore out of Wisconsin Rapids, and Hayes, a redshirt junior out of Cincinnati. Hayes is the son of former UW assis- tant Jay Hayes, who's going into his 12th year as the D-line coach for the Bengals of the NFL. "Jesse is never going to be 270 pounds," Ander- sen said of the 6-3, 236-pound Hayes. "Because of that, he has to fit into what is best for him. If it was a true 4-3, is he big enough to be a defensive end? He'd still be way undersized. But playing outside linebacker really helps him, like it does Vince." The 6-4 Biegel would like to put on five more pounds and play at 240 next season. "My goal this spring was to improve fundamentally and, from a mental stand- point, know the defense overall," Biegel said. "Obviously, we've had a lot of key players leave (through graduation on the defense) and even though I'm a young guy, I want to become a vocal leader." In order to do so, Biegel said, "I have to solidify myself as a guy that people can count on, a guy that can be an every- down guy ― first, second and third down ― a pass rusher, a linebacker do-it-all. We have a lot of guys trying to improve every single day, not only on the field but in the weight room." It has led to an esprit de corps among the outside linebackers, which will also include Leon Jacobs in certain sub-pack- ages. This spring, Jacobs has been learn- ing the game from inside out. "We all have a little bit of the competitive spirit and swagger," Biegel said. That attitude has surfaced throughout the spring and during Saturday's scrim- mage. Borland liked how Biegel and Schobert handled themselves, boding well for the perimeter defense. "Vince is just a little bigger, Joe is a little better in space," he said. "They're perfect fits for those B and F spots." In a sense, he was giving both of them an "A" for being in the right spot at the right time. "Vince is a real intense guy on game day," Schobert said. "This spring, he's settled down a lot more." JOHN FISHER

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