Vince Biegel’s mullet may say something about business in the front and party in the back, but when the senior outside linebacker jogs out into his last game at Camp Randall Stadium, it will be purely business––just like it’s been the last four years.
The foot injury that sidelined Biegel during his first year in Madison proved too debilitating, forcing the then-true freshman to request a medical redshirt. This year, on the heels of Wisconsin’s two biggest matchups in Michigan and Ohio State, Biegel fell victim to another foot injury, this time a broken foot, and was forced to sit for three weeks. But in each situation—either as a freshman or a senior—Biegel rose above any roadblock that stood in his way.
Following his initial foot injury, Biegel’s first chance to make his name known to the Badger faithful was in his redshirt freshman year. He came on for 25 total tackles and three tackles for loss, which included two sacks. Over the course of both Biegel’s freshman year and the consequent seasons, Wisconsin took a revolutionary next step that directly correlated with Biegel’s revamped play.
The sophomore paced the Badgers with 56 total tackles for the season, 16.5 of which were for loss and finished second in sacks at 7.5. The outside linebacker became the backbone to the No. 4 defense in total offense allowed, and earned postseason recognition as All-Big Ten Second Team selection.
As a junior, Beigel’s drive for success fostered his continuous improvement. He compiled 66 tackles-—an improvement of 10—and ranked second in both sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (14).
The national media became well aware of the Badger linebacker before his senior season, as Biegel saw preseason nominations for defensive player of the year, as well as college football’s best linebacker. This season became about more than just awards for Biegel; it went beyond football, as a chapter in his life had reached its last words. Vince Biegel has become the standard-bearer for the gritty defense that Wisconsin has been able to hang its hat on for years.
Not only has Biegel’s talent anchored the Badgers’ defense, he is a captain because he leads his team in numerous ways. He can lead on the field as he barks out pre-snap adjustments. He can lead from the sideline as he did for three weeks, not letting his injury prevent him from bestowing his knowledge upon those on the field.
Biegel has seen the likes of Bret Bielema, the man who recruited him. He has seen Gary Anderson and Dave Aranda come and go as well. He even had current athletic director Barry Alvarez in his time at UW, as Alvarez stepped in for Anderson, who bolted for Oregon State before the Outback Bowl.
With the Badgers now led by Paul Chryst and Justin Wilcox, Biegel has been here through it all, lining up on the outside and the inside. Biegel will look to turn pro this spring, but his time at UW will not be forgotten.