The Freshman Fifteen - Vince Biegel

The first defensive player to commit to the 2012 recruiting class, former Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln linebacker Vince Biegel was an All-American and team captain in high school, leading his team to a state championship game appearance. Badger Nation gets to know the freshman linebacker a little better in our popular feature.

MADISON - In terms of a rude welcome to the college game, nobody got a rougher one than Vince Biegel.

Impressing head coach Bret Bielema with his abilities as a pass rusher in the early parts of camp, Biegel got a nasty surprise when he tried to out muscles starting sophomore right tackle Rob Havenstein on a pass rush, getting his foot stepped on by the 6-8, 342-pound behemoth. The result was a stress fracture in his toe and mobilized in a walking boot for two weeks, taking away valuable practice time.

Biegel returned to practice last week and while he did not play in the season-opening win over Northern Iowa, he's hopeful to make an impact on either special teams if the UW coaching staff needs him, which is why he is traveling to Oregon State this weekend. With his credentials (a U.S. Army All-American, 172 tackles, 21 sacks, three interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns last season), UW will certainly get full use out of him throughout his career.

In the return of our popular series for subscribers, Badger Nation does a meet and greet with the newer members of the Wisconsin football team, shedding a light on some of the unknown kids that figure to be important parts of the Badgers' future.

Asking 15 questions, we call this segment the Freshman Fifteen.

What's been the hardest part for you adjusting to college life?

Biegel: For college life, it's just waking up every day and not have your parents there to cook you a meal (laughing). You are in charge of yourself every single day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which has been the biggest change for me scheduling time to cook, prepare and clean up meals.

What's been the hardest part adjusting to college football?

Biegel: Obviously there is going to be a speed difference and in the physicality. For me the biggest change has been the mental part of the game: learning the whole playbook, understanding it and executing it to your fullest. That's been the biggest thing for me in order to become a better player.

Since you arrived here, how have you changed your body to prepare for the college game?

Biegel: We have Herb as a strength and conditioning coach and he's going to treat you right. In about three or four months in the weight room, I have already seen a big chance. I've gained a little over 10 pounds, so it's already been a big help in that way. I am really excited for working with him this year.

What do you think your strengths are right now where you can help this team and what your biggest areas of weaknesses?

Biegel: For me where I could feel I could help this team is special teams and rushing the passer on third downs. I feel I can be an outside rusher on third downs and get some presser on the quarterback. I've been learning from some of the defensive line guys. One of the areas where I can improve my game on is just getting more reps and learning all three linebacker positions. I just want to understand our defense better.

How is Madison different than your home town of Wisconsin Rapids? What's the biggest difference?

Biegel: The size. We come from a smaller town compared to Madison and there's definitely a lot more things to do here.

Do you have any idea what you want to study in college?

Biegel: I want to try to get into the business school here, but I'm just taking it day by day. I am going to take general studies this year and get a better grasp on what I want to do in my life.

What's your favorite place on the Madison campus?

Biegel: I would probably say Bascom Hill. That's just college right there when you look at it. It's in the heart of campus and it makes me think of Wisconsin when I am there. I also like going to Mickey's Diner right next to the stadium. You get the college vibe there and it's fun to go with my teammates.

What's your least favorite place on campus?

Biegel: I honestly don't have a least favorite. I haven't found a place I don't like.

What do you enjoy doing most in your free time when you get the chance to kick back and relax?

Biegel: Besides from sleeping is just hanging out with my buddies. We'll play a little Xbox here and there just to take our mind off football. You're at Camp Randall 16 hours a day. When you get time off, you just take advantage of it and value the free time.

Who do you live with during the summer and who are you going to live with this fall? How are those relationships?

Biegel: I lived with Leo Musso in the summer and I am currently living with Dan Voltz. They are both great guys. Leo and I had a really good guy this summer. I had a fun time working out with him and getting to know him. Dan and I played in the U.S. Army All-American game, so we knew each other from there and from bumping into each other at games. We've built a good relationship, so it's been fun to get to know him better.

What's the most interesting thing you've learn about them?

Biegel: There is no dirt I can really throw on them. Leo is a funny, hard-working guy and so is Dan. I really can't dog them.

Where does your biggest support come from? Family? Friends? Teammates?

Biegel: I would definitely say my family. My dad played college football at BYU, so he understands what I am going through with my time commitment, workouts and so forth. I call my dad almost every single day to let him know what's going on and he asks me how I am doing. My mom, my brother and my sister give me great support, so I can't ask for anything better.

What's your parents reaction to you playing college football here, being on your own for the first time and starting your journey at this school?

Biegel: In the end, it was a good decision and I was happy with my decision. It was getting stressful for me and I was so torn between here and BYU. I am happy with where I went and I know my parents are. They are only two hours away, so my parents can come down and see me whenever they want. They can come to every game, which will be awesome. It's been a joy and experience.

What's the best part of being a Wisconsin football player and putting on that red and white jersey?

Biegel: Just from going through the mock games, I got the vibe from the atmosphere of the stadium and there weren't any fans there. Game time (was) special with my first time running out on to the field.

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