Biegel keeping one foot in the door

With 10 scholarship offers on the table, linebacker Vince Biegel committed to play football for home-state college Wisconsin. A straightforward and devoted young man, Biegel is committed to the Badger program, but he's also keeping the door open just a bit for one specific college program.

Vince Biegel is a top LDS linebacker prospect, and with the Cougars running a 3-4 defense, that means they've come calling. On top of that, his father Rocky Biegel once donned the blue and white of BYU as a hard-hitting fan-favorite in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Vince breaking from family tradition by giving a verbal commitment to Wisconsin was not only tough for BYU coaches, but it was tough for himself as well.

"Obviously, you're going to disappoint some coaches whenever you make a commitment to play somewhere else," Biegel said. "It's not going to be good for everyone all the way around unfortunately, and that's just how recruiting goes. For some coaches you win some, you lose some. BYU coaches have been up to my school around seven times and I have a lot of respect for them.

"Obviously it was a tough decision. There's a lot of pros and cons with each school. One thing that I would probably have to say is that Wisconsin has a program – and obviously you think BYU is more a religious school – with good guys on the team. When I went to Wisconsin a few times I was expecting it to be a little different, but they've got guys that work their butts off and they're good guys.

"I thought they would just be a bunch of partiers, but I was wrong. They work hard and one of the things that I really liked was they're kind of a bunch of blue-chip-collar guys, and that's how I kind of view myself. I'm a hard worker. I'm not saying that BYU doesn't have blue-chip guys, but that was one thing that I took away from Wisconsin. They have a lot of hard working guys and, obviously, I kind of wanted to stay close to family and friends here and that really helped."

So, he made a decision. He called up the Wisconsin coaches and gave a verbal commitment.

"My decision to commit to Wisconsin was 100 percent the right decision for me," Biegel said. "I'm excited to play for Wisconsin, period. When I commit to someone, I commit to them. So for me to change that, something would have to go horribly wrong for me to make a switch. But I am still interested in BYU, but I am committed and, you know, time will tell. I still have a lot of time left, but right now I'm a Badger."

Prior to his commitment to Wisconsin, Biegel visited BYU.

"Well, last time I went down to BYU I was so busy with everything," said Biegel. "It was a full scheduled day. I mean, we were checking out everything and all the facilities and everything. You know, that's awesome, but I'm the type of guy where I just want to talk to the team.

"I want to be in the locker room and I want to talk to the guys on the team, you know. I want to see what the vibe in the locker room is. That's kind of how I am. I want to talk to the guys and pick their brains and see what's going on there. That's one thing that I really want to look at."

Although currently committed to the Badgers, Biegel has kept the door open with BYU and the Cougar coaching staff.

"Yeah, obviously I committed to Wisconsin during their spring game a few months ago now," Biegel said. "I'm excited about Wisconsin and whatnot, but I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't still talking to BYU. I'm still talking to BYU's coaches and I know they have a great program, but right now I'm obviously committed to Wisconsin.

"There's a lot of positive things I like about Wisconsin and I'm excited to play for them, but I'm also keeping in contact with BYU just in case. I have a lot of respect for BYU. My dad played there, I'm LDS and there's a lot of positive things about BYU."

With BYU partnering up with ESPN in what will become one of the most televised football programs in the nation, Biegel sees something he likes.

"You know, BYU signed that big contract with ESPN now," Biegel said. "I could be sitting here in Wisconsin watching all their games, where I only watched one or two games of BYU last year. One of them was the bowl game. I can be watching all of BYU's games this year and think, 'Man, that's the school I want to play for.' I just want to keep the door open."

With the door of interest still cracked open, Biegel plans on making one or more trips back out to BYU this year.

"I know what they're all about," said Biegel. "I still plan on taking a recruiting trip out to BYU during my senior year, and I still might even go up there to a football camp this summer. I'm going to try and do that, but I'm not sure, and the reason why I'm not sure is because I have football camps back to back to back, so I might not make it.

"I honestly do want to make it back out there and talk to the coaches again because BYU is a great place. I'm still talking to the coaches out there like Coach Poppinga, Coach Reynolds and Coach Howell, and they're just all really good guys."

The Biegel family is trying to schedule a time to visit BYU when the Cougars play rival Utah.

"I was thinking of coming out there for the Utah game," Biegel said. "I'm not quite sure yet and I'm still kind of talking to the BYU coaches about it, and we'll see what happens. We're figuring around the time when BYU plays Utah."

This time his visit back out to BYU will allow him to gain a different perspective, one which he was looking for prior to his commitment to Wisconsin.

"I talked to the coaches and they said, 'Yeah, we kind of lacked in that area the last time you came out here for your unofficial recruiting trip,'" Biegel said. "They said, 'We didn't really have enough time for you to talk with all the guys.' When I go out there next time I'll be able to talk to all the guys a lot and I'm really kind of excited, you know."

That's why he's keeping his foot in the door.

"I'll be honest with you, I'm not the kind of guy that's going to be flip-flopping around," Biegel said. "I'm a pretty laid back guy and I'm not a flashy type guy who likes a lot of attention, so I'm just talking to BYU and Wisconsin and it's not like I'm still talking to Michigan and blah, blah, blah. I've narrowed it down to two schools and they both know that.

"To be honest with you, it's kind of nice to have the decision made and just focus on football for my senior year and have fun with it, you know. It's nice to not have all the off-field situations going on, but I still keep in contact with BYU and that's important to me."

As time continues to roll on by, so do changes. A year ago, Biegel was still mulling over whether or not he would set aside football for two years and serve a mission. Right now at this stage in life, his decision to commit to Wisconsin is what he feels is best for him, but more serious thought about serving a mission has continued to turn the perspective wheel of life.

"Earlier in my football career I was thinking I would just play football, you know. But now I've been thinking about stuff and have kind of opened the door about going. I've been really thinking about going on my mission.

"I could go on a mission and have my mind totally changed, because life constantly changes. Who knows, you know. We'll see what happens, and time usually tells. I've become more open-minded about it, and there's a lot of pros about going on a mission. I'm not totally shutting it down now is what I'm trying to say.

"One of my thoughts was if I go to Wisconsin I want to go there and be a positive influence on these guys. Maybe have sort of a mission attitude while out there, you know. I'm not trying to be a preacher-type guy, but just be a good moral example is what I'm trying to say."

Regardless of whether Biegel decides to play at Wisconsin or the winds of change blow him toward a different direction, one thing is certain: according to him, BYU and Wisconsin fans will see him play on the football field.

"Either way, we'll play one another because BYU and Wisconsin signed a contract with one another to play 2014 through 2015," Biegel said, referring to a series that has been rumored but not officially announced. "It should be a good thing, you know."

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