Wisconsin football has become known throughout the Big Ten for its dominant defensive play, and despite some struggles this season, the Badgers were still ranked as one of the best defensive units in the country.
The Badgers showed their exceptional performance through two players ranked in the top 15 in tackles for loss per game last season in the Big Ten. True freshman outside linebacker Nick Herbig and inside linebacker Leo Chanel were some of the best in the Big Ten last season at causing chaos in the backfield of their opponents, and it will be exciting to see what they can do in a full season in 2021.
Below is the ranking of the top 15 players in tackles for loss per game from the Big Ten Conference 2020 season. Players from Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Rutgers, Purdue and Northwestern made the rankings.
11. Mosiah Nasili-Kite, Maryland, 1.00 tackle for loss per game
Dec 12, 2020; College Park, Maryland, USA; Maryland Terrapins defensive lineman Mosiah Nasili-Kite (34) sacks Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Noah Vedral (0) during the second half at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
11. Kwity Paye, Michigan, 1.00 tackle for loss per game
Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye sacks the Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley during the first half on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at Michigan Stadium.
11. Damarcus Mitchell, Purdue, 1.00 tackle for loss per game
Rutgers running back Isaih Pacheco (1) is tackled by Purdue linebacker DaMarcus Mitchell (15) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette.
Cfb Purdue Vs Rutgers
11. Leo Chenal, Wisconsin, 1.00 tackle for loss per game
Nov 14, 2020; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) breaks a tackle by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Leo Chenal (45) in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
11. Nick Herbig, Wisconsin, 1.00 tackle for loss per game
Michigan Wolverines tight end Erick All makes a catch against Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig during the second half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.
9. Zach VanValkenburg, Iowa, 1.06 tackles for loss per game
Dec 12, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg (97) tackles Wisconsin Badgers running back Garrett Groshek (37) during the fourth quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
9. Chauncey Golston, Iowa, 1.06 tackles for loss per game
Iowa left end Chauncey Golston hits Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi in the first quarter at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.
8. Mike Tverdov, Rutgers, 1.17 tackles for loss per game
Nov 14, 2020; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback Isaiah Williams (1) rushes for a touchdown as Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive lineman Mike Tverdov (97) is blocked by running back Mike Epstein (26) during the first half at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
7. Micah McFadden, Indiana, 1.21 tackles for loss per game
Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden (47) pressures Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell (16) during the first quarter of a NCAA football game, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette.
Cfb Purdue Vs Indiana
6. Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers, 1.22 tackles for loss per game
Ohio State Buckeyes running back Steele Chambers (22) strongarms Rutgers Scarlet Knights linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi (3) during the third quarter of a NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Cfb Rutgers Scarlet Knights At Ohio State Buckeyes
5. Jake Hansen, Illinois, 1.25 tackles for loss per game
Oct 5, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) rushes with the ball as Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Jake Hansen (35) makes tackle in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
4. Antjuan Simmons, Michigan State, 1.29 tackles for loss per game
Michigan State's Naquan Jones, left, and Antjuan Simmons, right, tackle Northwestern's Peyton Ramsey during the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.
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3. Blake Gallagher, Northwestern, 1.36 tackles for loss per game
Oct 5, 2019; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) runs against Northwestern Wildcats linebacker Blake Gallagher (51) in the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
2. Chance Campbell, Maryland, 1.38 tackles for loss per game
Nov 7, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Maryland Terrapins linebacker Chance Campbell (44) tackles Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Parker Washington (3) during the fourth quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
1. Daviyon Nixon, Iowa, 1.69 tackles for loss per game
Nov 27, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) and Iowa Hawkeyes defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon (54) in action against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports