During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Today we turn our attention to Leo Chenal.
Name: Leo Chenal
Position: inside linebacker
2020 eligibility: sophomore
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 composite 3-star, No. 35 ATH, Grantsburg, WI
2017 recruitment: Leo Chenal’s recruitment started in May 2017 when he received an offer from South Dakota State. Shortly after Chenal took unofficial visits to Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In September of 2017, Chenal received his offer from Wisconsin, and that seemed to be all he was waiting for as he made his commitment to Wisconsin the following day and shut down his recruitment shortly thereafter.
Career statistics: 11 games played, 16 solo tackles, four assisted tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery
2019 statistics: 11 games played, 16 solo tackles, four assisted tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery
Player overview: When Chenal stepped onto campus at Wisconsin people around the football program immediately saw something special. As a true freshman, Chenal possessed the size and strength of an upperclassman and looked the part. His strength has only gotten better since then as well. In fact, back in May Chenal tweeted out a video of him bench pressing 225 pounds for 40 reps. As a sophomore, that’s better than most NFL combine showings. That strength, coupled with an motor that is always running high, made Chenal a promising piece for the Badgers at inside linebacker.
Best case scenario for 2020: With Chris Orr departing to the NFL Leo Chenal is the likely candidate to take over the inside linebacker position next to Jack Sanborn. Best case scenario is that Chenal does in fact get that spot, and makes his presence felt in a bigger way. In his opportunities last year Chenal made the most of them, but now the Badgers will need him to be a full time player making big plays. One area the Badgers will really need is someone to step up in the pass rush department. If Chenal can get to the quarterback half as much as Orr did at the inside position it would be a great 2020 season for him and likely the Badgers defense.
Likely role on team in 2020: Chenal will be the likely starter at the inside linebacker position and likely makes a big leap in terms of production. If there is a guy whose numbers could really make a big jump, Chenal would be a likely candidate given his newfound starting role.