Get to know the future of Wisconsin football. Outside linebacker Nick Herbig could get some snaps early for the Badgers.
Like offensive linemen, Wisconsin football has been a pipeline lately getting outside linebackers into the NFL. Recent examples include TJ Watt, Vince Biegel, Leon Jacobs, and Zack Baun. Incoming freshman Nick Herbig could be in line to join them. He has already been raising some eyes at practice. Even though Wisconsin is loaded with depth at the position, don’t be surprised to see Herbig show up in some games.
Herbig comes to the Wisconsin football team all the way from St. Louis School in Honolulu, Hawaii. According to 247Sports, Herbig was a 4-star recruit and was the 8th ranked outside linebacker in the country and 112th overall recruit in the country in the 2020 class.
In his senior year, Herbig helped lead St. Louis to a fourth consecutive Open Division state championship. Along the way, he had 18 tackles for a loss and added 9.5 sacks. He had 16 scholarship offers. He chose Wisconsin over teams like Boise St., California, Kansas St., Nebraska, Oklahoma, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, and more.
Blair Angulo is 247Sports’ Mountain Region Recruiting Analyst. He compares Herbig to former-Packer linebacker, Blake Martinez. Here is the rest of his scouting report on Nick Herbig:
"Strong frame with projectable length and room to add muscle. Impressive pass-rusher off edge. Thrives in aggressive role where speed is a factor. Consistently pressures the quarterback in blitz packages. Can dip his shoulder and use technique to turn the corner. Agility to track down ball carriers in the flats. Sound tackler that cleans up in the box. Alert and instinctive in coverage, but could refine drop back footwork. At times too antsy to make plays and gets caught over pursuing. Chance for early impact and multi-year starter at Power Five level. Upside as NFL Draft Day 2 selection."
Although he is just a freshman, he has already been making an impression in practice. Bucky’s 5th Quarter from SB Nation put out an article about Herbig’s emergence in practice and tweeted about it as well. Defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield met with reporters via Zoom last week and mentioned how Herbig has been standing out. Even his teammate, Isaiahh Loudermilk had good things to say about the freshman linebacker.
While Herbig won’t likely break the starting lineup this year, barring injury, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him making some plays this year. I think if the hype is real, it will be hard to keep him off the field. He could very well be the next big outside linebacker out of the Wisconsin football program. Keep an eye out for number 19 on defense this year. In fact, if you want an early look at Herbig, the Wisconsin football Twitter account posted this video, and Herbig makes an appearance around the 20-second mark. Take a look!