Badgers’ Herbig named to All-Big Ten first team

Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig (19) celebrates after sacking Washington State quarterback...
Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig (19) celebrates after sacking Washington State quarterback during second half of an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Madison, Wis. Washington State beat Wisconsins 17-14.(Andy Manis | AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 2:16 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - After a season spent menacing quarterbacks and offensive backfields, Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig certainly commanded the respect of his fellow Big Ten coaches this season – and, on Tuesday, they showed it.

Herbig earned first team honors on this year’s All-Big Ten football team, which is selected by the coaches.

The junior put up big numbers all year. While his 33 tackles did not rank with the league leaders, the story changed once he was behind the line of scrimmage. Herbig recorded 15.5 tackles for loss this season, tops in the conference. Seven of those TFLs came in the week 10 showdown against Iowa, which was a huge game for Herbig, who also recorded three sacks.

In all, he tallied eleven sacks in 2022, all of them solo, which was the most in the conference by a good margin. Fellow All-Big Ten first teamer Mike Morris slotted in second place with the Michigan lineman being credited with 7.5 sacks.

FILE - Wisconsin's John Torchio (15) gestures to the crowd after running an interception back...
FILE - Wisconsin's John Torchio (15) gestures to the crowd after running an interception back for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois State, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Madison, Wis.(Aaron Gash | AP Photo/Aaron Gash, File)

While Herbig was the only UW player on the first team, Badgers were represented on the second team and third team. Safety John Torchio made the second team after finding his own way to terrorize quarterbacks.

While his five interceptions were the second most, he was one of only two Big Ten players to return two picks for touchdowns. A pick six that covered the length of the football field helped him run up 149 interception return yards, putting him 42 years ahead of second place Cam Allen, of Purdue.

Representing UW on the third team was lineman Keeanu Benton, while linebacker Maema Njongmeta picked up an honorable mention after leading the Badgers in tackles.

Wisconsin nose tackle Keeanu Benton warms up before playing against Nebraska in an NCAA college...
Wisconsin nose tackle Keeanu Benton warms up before playing against Nebraska in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb.(Rebecca S. Gratz | AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

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