BYU among tops for Wisconsin linebacker

Vince Biegel

Football history runs deep in the Biegel family. Ken Biegel was introduced into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field in 2000. His son Rocky is fifth in BYU school history with 271 career tackles, and his 192 tackles in 1991 ranks second all-time in school history. Now, Rocky's son Vince has the opportunity to carry on the family football name.

Coming in at 6 feet 3 inches and 210 pounds, Vince Biegel comes from a lineage of athletes. The junior runs a 4.58 forty and a 4.38 shuttle. His broad jump is 9'8" and his vertical is 32". He also recorded about 125 total tackles for his football team, and is one of the state's top hurdlers and a conference champion.

A number of schools are showing interest in Biegel.

"Some of the schools I've been looking at are Wisconsin and Brigham Young University," Biegel said. "There's also Iowa and Nebraska, and those are the main schools I'm looking at. I've been getting some interest from Boise State, Iowa State and Utah as well."

As a sophomore, Biegel was a Second-Team All-Conference selection as a safety prior to being moved to linebacker for the state playoffs.

This year as a junior he was a First-Team All-Conference, First-Team All-Region and First-Team All-State selection. He had four interceptions, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an average of 16 tackles per game. Biegel is also the only junior in Lincoln High School history to be named a team captain.

There are a few things in particular that Biegel is looking for when evaluating the different colleges that are recruiting him.

"One of the biggest things I'm looking at is my linebacker's coach," said Biegel. "I want a coach where he can help me reach my potential and I can click with him and be someone I can talk to. I want a coach where he can be a mentor to me and a guy that I can lean on and be a father figure to me.

"Also, I want to go to a place with a great atmosphere and a great fan base. BYU and Wisconsin both have great fan bases. Also, academics [are] also important to me and I want to have a great education. I want to get my degree and have a great education."

Biegel's interest in BYU stems from a few different things, not the least of which is his family's history with the Cougar program. His father Rocky Biegel played there from 1988-91, his uncle T.D. Biegel played there from 1993-94, and his grandfather Ken Biegel coached at BYU for a time.

"It's just kind of a cool deal to look back and say I played there, my dad played there and my grandfather was there," the younger Biegel said. "That would be something kind of cool just to carry on, you know what I'm saying? It would be something awesome to just carry on."

Another reason why BYU is an attractive fit for him is because of his religious affiliation.

"Obviously, we're an LDS family and BYU is just the right fit morally as well," Biegel said. "The Lord has blessed me with a few opportunities and I'm still only a junior, so I have some time to make the right decision."

According to Vince, attending BYU was a very positive experience for his father.

"My dad played there and he got married while he was there at BYU," Biegel said. "It was a pretty cool deal for him and he really liked it there at BYU. He went to some great bowl games and he had a lot of success there playing with Ty Detmer. They beat number-one ranked Miami when they played down there in Provo. That was one of the greatest upsets and one of the biggest games ever played at BYU. It's just awesome. My dad is still great friends with Ty and we always go hunting down at his ranch. Derek Clark, he was a tight end at BYU, is still really good friends with my dad and he still keeps in touch with those guys even today."

Despite all the Biegel family ties to BYU, Vince is still taking the recruiting process slow and isn't rushing into making his decision. Some members of his family would certainly love to see him choose one school in particular.

"My grandpa is definitely pulling for me to go to BYU," Biegel said. "He also told me that he would support me no matter where I decided to go."

Rocky has also expressed his support in whatever choice his son makes.

"My dad said he would love to come see every single one of my games here in Wisconsin, but he told me that if I went to BYU he would love that too," Vince said. "He's just kind of in the middle and just really supportive about the whole thing, and I'm really appreciative of that."

The younger Biegel isn't just familiar with BYU because of his family; he attended BYU's summer camp earlier this year and said he had a good time out in Provo.

One of the positive experiences he had was meeting the Cougar coaching staff.

"Bronco Mendenhall, the guy is just an awesome guy," Biegel said. "He took over the defense this year and since then it's been playing lights-out. To be honest with you, I got the chance to talk with Coach Mendenhall one-on-one and I just really have a lot of respect for him. He is just an awesome guy and I would be honored to be one of his players for him."

Biegel will also attend the Under Armor Combine in San Antonio this January.

After that, he will be getting closer to choosing which school he will commit to.

"I know my two choices are BYU and Wisconsin when it comes right down to it," Biegel said. "I know after that combine it's going to become a little more clearer for me about which school I want to go to.

"I'm not planning on announcing it there [at the combine]. Me and my dad talked about maybe doing it in the spring during spring ball. We're not in a rush at all, but once I commit I'm going to be fully committed to that team. I'm going to put it all out there for those guys."

Should Biegel decide to serve a mission, a BYU scholarship upon his return would be a no-brainer. Wisconsin's coaches have also told him they would hold a scholarship for him. He hasn't had that conversation with Iowa's coaches and thus doesn't know where he stands with the Hawk eyes.

"Me and my family have been talking about it and it's something I'm considering," Biegel said about possible mission plans. "It's something that I'll talk to my bishop about and we'll see how it goes. Obviously, we're from Wisconsin, and going to out there to Utah, I just got a great vibe out there. It's an awesome feeling out there and there is just something special out there in Provo, Utah."

This past week, Cougar assistant coach Nick Howell paid a visit to Lincoln High School.

"[Howell] came out and got to meet my head coach Tony Biolo," Biegel said. "He got the chance to see where I work out and where I train every day, so it was kind of cool to see him come out here. He's just a great guy and it was cool for him to fly all the way out here to get more familiar with my surrounding and where I come from."

Howell left a good impression on Biegel.

"I've had a chance to talk to him one-on-one and I just had a few questions for him," Biegel said. "He had an answer for every single one of my questions that I had for him. I just had some questions about BYU that I really wanted to ask him. He just seems like a really great guy."

The Biegel family was planning on coming out to BYU recently, but due to the expense of airline tickets, they will wait until later on to make the trip.

"It's around a $1,000 a pop, so we're thinking about going out there sometime during spring ball and looking at BYU," Biegel said. "I'm not going to make a final decision until I actually go out there to BYU, you know what I mean? Over the summer I got the chance to see some of the practice fields out there, but I haven't really had the chance to really see some of the other things BYU has to offer. I would like to see their weight room and all that as well."

Ultimately, Biegel's decision will likely come down to the influences that are found among the programs and campuses he is choosing between.

"The biggest thing that's going to make a difference is how is my decision going to affect me for the rest of my life?" Biegel said. "It's just like getting married, you know what I mean? It's a decision that's going to affect you for the rest of your life. The college that I choose is going to shape me as a person, and you might possibly marry your soul mate there. The influences that are there are going to shape your character, and that's one thing that I kind of take from looking at BYU. That's kind of what I'm kind of thinking of when I make my final decision."

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