Wisconsin Football: Biggest Questions Heading into Spring Practice

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Derek Landisch hurries Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown. Jim Oxley photograph

Linebackers Leaving

Wisconsin loses two key players from a staunch defense in 2014 – Derek Landisch and Marcus Trotter.

The duo were extremely productive players last season, and were two main reasons Wisconsin’s defense was as successful as it was in 2014.

Both graduate this spring and will need to be replaced – no easy task.

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Luckily, the Badgers return outside backers Vince Biegel and Joe Schobert, who are also coming off strong 2014 seasons. The two will likely remain the starters at outside linebacker, although there’s always the chance one will be moved inside, the position the Badgers will need more help at in 2015.

Landisch and Trotter were pretty solid in 2104 and didn’t come off of the field too often. That means the players behind them pretty much only saw special teams snaps and garbage time play.

Junior Leon Jacobs, who started and played well against Illinois when Trotter was injured, has the most experience of the group, and D’Cota Dixon, who was injured most of last season, has some play time under his belt, as well. The Badgers also return redshirt sophomore Jack Cichy and redshirt freshman Justin Schweitzer.

Wisconsin has a couple of intriguing options in the recruiting class of 2015 who could see the field next season, including one recruit who is already on campus. Nick Thomas, a Florida recruit, is enrolled at UW already, and will get a jump-start learning Dave Aranda’s defense.

The Badgers should also expect hard-hitter Chris Orr, another recruit this season, to make a push for playing time.

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