While Penn State has the reputation of “Linebacker U”, Wisconsin football can claim just as many current professional linebackers on active NFL rosters as Penn State.
Unfortunately for NFL teams, they only have one Wisconsin linebacker to choose from in this year’s draft, as outside linebacker Nick Herbig is the only player this position pool is losing this year.
Which probably explains why the Badgers elected to not seriously pursue any disgruntled linebackers in the transfer portal.
A slightly more curious move, however, was the decision to not bring in any linebackers in the recruiting class either.
I realize that the cupboard is full for Fickell, but injuries or transfers could happen at almost any time, and I just think that a program can never really have too many linebackers.
However, the linebackers that Wisconsin football does have are very good.
Pro Football Focus has
Using their database, the Badgers returning linebackers averaged giving up 6.4 yards after catch. This compares very well to the average of the top 50 linebackers in the Big Ten last year, which was 6.2 YAC.