Watt, Biegel have strong potential to become weapons in Badgers - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Watt, Biegel have strong potential to become weapons in Badgers defense

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MADISON, Wis. (WKOW) -- After the Badgers Holiday Bowl victory, Wisconsin was the No. 1 scoring defense in the country, thanks in large part to former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. But Aranda is now gone after signing a three-year deal with LSU. Oddly enough, Aranda will be standing on the opposite sideline in the Badgers season opener, when they take on the Tigers at Lambeau Field. 

But besides Aranda, the Badgers also lost Big Ten Linebacker of the Year, Joe Schobert, to graduation. 

So how will Wisconsin maintain that defensive status that Aranda built? Justin Wilcox might be able to provide that answer. Even though he was fired from Southern California after two seasons, the 39-year-old has a solid track record with Washington, Tennessee and Boise State. Now he takes over the Wisconsin program which is also depleted in the backfield. 

The loss of Schobert is a massive loss on the defensive side of the ball, but Wisconsin's staff has just filled it with potential star-power. The linebacker position vacated by Schobert will be filled by Vince Biegel, who slides over to field linebacker, while T.J. Watt moves into Biegel's old position at boundary linebacker. Biegel recorded eight sacks and 14 1/2 tackles for loss as a redshirt junior last season. 

The pair, who have been the projected starters thus far in spring training, has the potential to become a dynamic duo at linebacker. 

The position is new to Watt, who moved from tight end to linebacker last season. Watt's time at UW has been filled with injuries and surgeries, dislocated both his knees in a two-year period. He was able to see some ample game time at the tail end of last season, finishing with four quarterback hurries, three passes broken up and eight tackles. 

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