Highly regarded freshman linebacker Vince Biegel has aggravated the broken left foot he suffered during preseason camp, likely leading him to taking a medical redshirt this season.
Biegel was back wearing a walking boot on his left foot on Wednesday following the University of Wisconsin football team’s practice.
“Obviously, my foot (injury) got aggravated,” Biegel said. “It’s got some strong discomfort in there. I talked to the doctors and talked to the trainers, they’re just going to shut me down for a while.”
Biegel had no idea how long he would be sidelined and said he is taking it day by day. He also stressed no decision has been made on a redshirt — or even talked about yet with the coaches.
“The plan really hasn’t been discussed yet,” he said. “We’re just seeing how it feels. Unfortunately, the foot’s not where it needs to be, it’s not really up to par, just trying to get healthy.”
Biegel, from Wisconsin Rapids, was one of the most highly touted recruits in the freshman class. He was expected to contribute right away, possibly as a pass rusher. He returned to practice briefly last week before the pain resumed in his foot.
“When he came back from injury, we were ready to go 100 miles an hour with him,” linebackers coach Andy Buh said. “Then he had the setback last week with it.”
Buh said it was too early to predict Biegel will take a medical redshirt, but added, “He’s young, he’s got a redshirt, we know we could use it.”
The 6-foot-3 Biegel said his weight is close to 230 pounds now. Because of his pass-rush skills, there also has been speculation he could wind up in the defensive line.
But he envisions a role similar to junior Chris Borland, who starts at middle linebacker and rushes the passer in the nickel defense.
“Absolutely, I’m a linebacker at heart,” said Biegel, whose father, Rocky, played linebacker at Brigham Young from 1988 to 1992.
“Coach Buh is a great coach. Wherever they want me, they want me, but I love linebacker. That’s my spot and probably where I want to stay.”
Buh also said he would fight to keep Biegel at linebacker and loves the idea of somebody that big who can run. Biegel finished second in the 110-meter high hurdles in June at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet.
“I hope he stays with me, 230- to 250-pound linebackers are hard to come by these days that can move like him,” Buh said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep him, that’s for sure.”