Camping with the Badgers Revisited: Linebackers

Alright, after a bit of off time we're doubling down on our attempt to remind you of what was said and thought about each position entering camp and where we now stand heading into game one against Northern Iowa.

If you've missed any of this weeks revisits it was started with the Wide Receivers and it's now time to move on to the other side of the ball.

Also, if you missed our preview before camp and want to know more about what the heck we're talking about, you can find our Linebackers preview here.

This was and is a position that didn't hold much in the way of mystery as we all know that Chris Borland and Mike Taylor are both all-Big Ten and all-American caliber of players. The one spot that had a tiny question mark was at the weak side linebacker position where Ethan Armstrong was coming off of hip surgery.

Well, it was apparent from the start of fall camp that Armstrong was up to the challenge and there wasn't really a huge competition for that spot. 

During the preview we asked if one of the most heralded recruits Wisconsin has gotten in a while, Vince Biegel, would see the field in his freshman season and it's safe to say he'll be seeing time. Most likely on special teams, but he's also someone we need to watch for in pass rushing situations as Bielema spoke very highly of his ability in that facet of the game during camp.

Outside of that the biggest news was that Derek Watt was moved from middle linebacker to fullback and could become the starter at that position when 2:30pm rolls around on Saturday.

As for the other player to watch, well Jake Keefer is no longer at the linebacker position and that shouldn't be a huge surprise either because he's 6'4" tall and his wingspan and size just screams out defensive end. Derrick Landish will be a huge player in the future and continued to show why in camp. I expect him to see quite a bit of time during non-conference games. Same goes for Marcus Trotter as far as seeing playing time, but he needs to show he can do it athletically as well or he could be at risk of losing his spot in the future.

Overall, this is a group that is very deep and is going to be the backbone of the 2012 Badgers defense. Taylor and Borland haven't been too taxed in camp either because of injury history but that doesn't mean they aren't ready to take it all on yet either. Look for this group to be just fine no matter who's in there as they are two and sometimes three deep at each linebacker spot.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com

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