With less than two weeks until the start of Badger football, junior inside linebacker Jack Cichy is seeing increased reps with the current injury of T.J. Edwards during fall camp.
The 6’2″, 223-pound linebacker from Somerset, Wis. played four years at Hill Murray High School in Maplewood, Minn. He finished his senior year as the all-conference selection, honorable mention all-state and team MVP, recording 107 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, four sacks and one interception. He recorded similar high stats as a junior with 111 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, two sacks and three interceptions.
The two-time high school team captain became a walk-on to the University of Wisconsin in February of 2013. In his collegiate football career, Cichy played a total of 17 games with four starts. His most notable game was in the 2015 Holiday Bowl where he recorded nine tackles and three sacks in the second half of the game, earning him the Defensive MVP.
Going into the 2016 season, Cichy expects an increase role in the linebacking corp. due to the loss of Edwards.
“It was tough, but he wouldn’t want us to miss a beat,” Cichy said of Edwards’ injury. “He wouldn’t want us to sulk for him. We are moving forward. We are making some great strides. Me and Chris [Orr] are getting more chemistry inside. We are more relatable inside. And we are able to play off each other better.”
The potential for an increased role this year led Cichy to being placed on the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list. According to the award’s website, the Lott IMPACT trophy acknowledges the top defensive football player for both personal character and performance.
A statement of Cichy’s character is his ability to accept any role designated to him on the team.
“I still love playing special teams,” Cichy said. “Whether or not I’m a starter or Chris is the starter or T.J. is the starter, I think we will all be ready for whatever happens. We will all be playing, so I think we’re going to try to maximize our reps.”
Cichy said that the biggest thing to prepare for going into the season is working as one cohesive unit. He believes the linebacking corps have a great off the field connection.
“I think the big thing in this camp is being able to create that on the field,” he said. “The more chemistry we can build, the more comfortable we can be with each other, the better off we’ll be able to play off each other in practice and in games.
“I think we just got to be better at playing team defense. We’ve got great guys on the d line, great guys on the back end. I think we’ve just got to start piecing it together and once we start piecing it together better, I think we will click.”
Photo courtesy of UWBadgers.com.