With the 2014 NFL Draft in the books and the regular season fast-approaching, Badger of Honor is taking an in-depth look at each and every Wisconsin Badger in the National Football League.
Our next Badger is another undrafted player: defensive lineman Ethan Hemer.
Hemer attended Medford High School in Wisconsin before walking on to the Badger squad in 2009. He redshirted his freshman season, showing his value by being named the UW Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year.
He cracked the lineup in 2010, and played in all 13 games for Wisconsin, starting the final six games.
He opened his redshirt sophomore season in 2011 as a starter, and started each game of the season. His performance during the season earned him a scholarship.
Hemer again started every game in the 2012 season, and was named to the honorable mention All-Big Ten team by the coaches at season’s end.
While Hemer’s numbers and starts went down in his senior season, he finished out his Badger career having played in 54 games, starting 42, totaling 92 total tackles (43 unassisted, 49 assisted), six tackles for loss, and a pair of sacks.
Hemer entered the 2014 NFL Draft with hopes to be at best a late-round pick. While his name went uncalled, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency.
Hemer has a chance to earn his spot, as he did in college, with the Steelers.
Pittsburgh’s defensive line is looking to replace the likes of Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood and Al Woods, three players who saw major time on the field last season.
The Steelers filled one spot with veteran free agent Cam Thomas and will likely see rookie Stephon Tuitt claim another, but Hemer could secure that third spot.
A big lineman who can move, Hemer seems a perfect fit for the Steelers’ 3-4 scheme, and now has the chance to prove his worth.