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Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst spoke with reporters Wednesday and called for his returning linebackers to step up. After the departures of Chris Orr and Zack Baun, the team will need other players to fill big shoes. Chryst publicly challenging his team could be the spark returners need.
“We’ve got three guys that have been around and played,” Chryst said. “Leo is the youngest, but played a lot of football. Jack [Sanborn], Leo [Chenal], and Mike Maskalunas, you’ve got three guys who certainly have a sense of how to play and how to play in our defense.”
It should be noted that Chryst has had nine linebackers drafted into the NFL since his arrival at Wisconsin in 2015.
Since Paul Chryst arrived at #Wisconsin in 2015, he’s had seven linebackers selected in the NFL Draft. From over 4,000 miles away, Nick Herbig noticed.— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) June 10, 2019
The four-star outside linebacker breaks down his commitment to the #Badgers.https://t.co/8ltsS10LY4 (VIP) pic.twitter.com/4g5yoCMSuk
Chryst knows what he’s doing
Wisconsin ranked 10th in total defense last year, so they have plenty of experience with excellence. Other than notable holes at linebacker, the team is expected to return to dominant form.
Looking forward to reliving this one on Saturday! @nbc15_madison— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 2, 2020
“We want everyone to know that when they’re coming to play Wisconsin, they’re going to be facing a physical defense,” junior DE Matt Henningsen said just last year.
A powerhouse Big Ten defense does not rely on one or two pieces but a mindset. Wisconsin has cultivated this mindset, fielding a team full of guys coming out to prove that they deserve more attention. Paul Chryst is smart to challenge these young men and see whom he can trust on Saturdays. We’ll get our first look at Wisconsin’s revamped defense October 24 against Illinois. As the great Bart Scott would say: Can’t wait!