Three former Badgers receive invites to 2023 NFL Combine


In recent years, the Wisconsin Badgers have churned out some of the best talent in college football. Many of those athletes go on to have very successful careers in the NFL at a variety of positions. Examples include newly-retired J.J. Watt, superstar running back Jonathan Taylor and brand new Hall of Famer Joe Thomas just to name a few.

Each season, the NFL hosts their scouting combine for the incoming draft class, showcasing the athletes to the teams that will potentially select them in April. In 2022, Wisconsin had four players invited to the combine, linebackers Jack Sanborn and Leo Chenal, tight end Jake Ferguson and offensive lineman Logan Bruss.

Here’s a look at the three athletes that received invitations for the class of 2023:

Nick Herbig: Linebacker/Edge

Nov 12, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig (19) sacks Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) during the first quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Herbig was the last remaining member of the “big three” linebackers that the Badgers had in 2022 after the departure of Leo Chenal and Jack Sanborn, but his production didn’t drop off with the added attention from the opposing offensive lines. The edge rusher finished with a team-high 11 sacks while making 47 total tackles and forcing two fumbles in his final campaign with Wisconsin.

Career (31 Games)

Tackles: 134

Sacks: 21

Pass Deflections: 7

Forced Fumbles: 4

Fumble Recoveries: 2

Keeanu Benton: Nose Tackle/Defensive Lineman

Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers nose tackle Keeanu Benton (95) celebrates following a tackle during the second quarter against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Benton spent four seasons as a member of Jim Leonhard’s defense with Wisconsin, increasing his production each year. In his fourth and final season with the Badgers, he was able to rack up a career-highs at tackles (36) and sacks (4.5).  The defensive lineman has impressed already at the Senior Bowl and could be the next great Badger defensive lineman at the next level.

Career (39 Games)

Tackles: 81

Sacks: 9

Pass Deflections: 4

Forced Fumbles: 2

Fumble Recoveries: 2

Joe Tippmann: Offensive Lineman

Wisconsin offensive lineman Joe Tippmann (75) looks for someone to block during the first quarter of their game against Eastern Michigan Saturday, September 11, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.

Tippmann only spent three seasons with the Badgers, but he will look to become the next successful NFL offensive lineman to come through Wisconsin’s program in recent years. With the likes of Travis Frederick, Joe Thomas and Super Bowl winners Rob Havenstein and David Edwards amongst others making the leap from Madison to the pros already, Tippmann has a good shot at panning out somewhere.

Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire



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