The nose guard position has been key over the past couple years for Wisconsin, especially now with the Badgers transitioning to a 3-4 defense in 2013. With plenty of consistent talent at the position over the years, the Badgers are looking to rely on a new full-time starter to the position with a good amount of collegiate experience. Warren Herring is poised to have a memorable senior season, as he is the clear number one at the nose guard position.
Stats: Played every game for the second straight season (27) and made his first start against BYU …Registered career high in tackles (13.5), sacks (four) and tackles for loss (six) last season.
Strengths: Herring has impressive technique and has great hands for a 6-3, 294-pound man. He has the ability to block effectively and is able to get to the quarterback if needed or disrupt running lanes. He is versatile enough where UW could line him up as an outside rusher in certain situations.
Weaknesses: Herring isn’t the fastest lineman on the roster, but he makes up for it in other ways.
Why he is where he is: Herring breaks the top 15 because of the impact he will need to make this season. He is a consistent player that the Badgers will heavily rely on being one of only two starters on the defensive line. He isn’t flashy by any means and doesn’t play a glamorous position, but is still important to overall success of the defense.
Overall: The coaching staff is going to rely greatly on Herring this season to the point where the senior could be playing over 50 snaps a game. If he could have it his way he would play every single down. One of the line’s hardest workers, look for Herring to silently become one of the most consistent and effective players for the Badgers this season. His leadership on and off the field will be key to the success of the team this season.
Up Next: Without much, if any, experience behind him, No.13 will be to stay healthy and be consistent for Wisconsin to move forward.
Note: This is not a list of the team's 30 best players or a series about past success, but rather a list of which players are the most critical to the team’s success in 2014. The list was created based on a player’s overall importance, impact on the field, the player’s position and expectations. True freshmen were not considered for this season.