It starts up front

Schofield_O'Brien_NIU_09_2.jpg***Vote for the All-Bielema Team on Facebook***

While offensive players may get most of the glory, everyone knows "defense wins championships." And a good defense is only as good as its play in the trenches.

With that as background, voting for the All-Bielema Team d-line kicked off on Thursday with the glamour position of the group, defensive end. The choices consisted of a national award winner (J.J. Watt), two first-team All-Big Ten selections (Watt and O'Brien Schofield) and three NFL players (Watt, Schofield and Matt Shaughnessy). Included in there is a two-year starter who scored a critical touchdown in in the 2012 Rose Bowl (Louis Nzegwu).

Friday we move onto defensive tackle. It may be less glamorous than d-end but strength up the middle is the hallmark of any good defense. And dependability is a common trait among our four candidates.

The Defensive Tackle Candidates:

Butrym_Patrick_IND_2011.jpgPatrick Butrym (2008-11)
Honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2011 ... won UW's Tom Wiesner Award as a senior, given to a Wisconsin-born player for his contributions ... started all 27 games at defensive tackle as a junior and senior ... played in every one of the Badgers' 53 games in his four-year career ... finished with 79 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, four QB sacks, a forced fumble and an interception





Chapman_Jason_IND_07.jpgJason Chapman (2006-08)
Two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten ... winner of UW's Jay Seiler Coaches Appreciation Award as a senior ... started 36 games over his final three seasons ... finished his career with 117 tackles, 15.0 TFLs, and 9.5 QB sacks





Hayden_Nick_MSU_07.jpgNick Hayden (2006-07)
Two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten ... winner of UW's Jay Seiler Coaches Appreciation Award as a senior ... started 39 consecutive games at d-tackle, including 26 as a junior and senior ... career totals if 132 tackles, 21.5 TFLs, 10 QB sacks and six fumble recoveries ... drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers ... has played in 53 career NFL games with 28 starts




Newkirk_Mike_OSU_08.jpgMike Newkirk (2006-08)
Second-team All-Big Ten as a senior ... played in all 52 of the Badgers' games in his four-year career ... started his final 26 games, 10 at defensive end and 16 at defensive tackle ... appeared in all 13 games as a sophomore as a backup DT ... career totals of 152 tackles, 29.0 TFLs, 10 QB sacks, two forced fumles and two fumble recoveries




Remember to vote early and often for the All-Bielema team either on Facebook or Twitter using #AllBielemaTeam (follow @BadgerFootball).
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