Wisconsin football says goodbye to two legends after this year. T.J. Edwards is arguably the best linebacker to ever play defense at Wisconsin and Ryan Connelly isn’t far behind him. The two of them lead the team in tackles by a wide margin and both have registered double-digit tackles for loss. Replacing them will not be easy, but Wisconsin has the bodies to experiment with.
Orr was the third man out in 2018. If not for Edwards and Connelly, he could have seen significant playing time and likely would have performed well. I trust he’ll be ready for his moment as a senior in 2019 and give defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard one less thing to worry about. Finding who will play next to Orr is the tough part.
Jack Sanborn might be the early leader in the clubhouse to start next to Orr at inside linebacker, but it’s really anybody’s guess. Mike Maskalunas and Griffin Grady are just as capable and will likely rotate in and out of the lineup through camps and the early part of the season. It’s too tough to make anything more than a guess at this point.
The inside linebacker position might be the weakest spot on the defense in 2019 after being the strongest in 2018. It’ll be very interesting to see how Leonhard handles that huge change.