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Wisconsin linebacker Nick Herbig makes the 2022 Lott Impact Trophy watch list

One of Wisconsin's top defensive players is up for a national award previously won by J.J. Watt.

Wisconsin outside linebacker Nick Herbig is arguably the top returning player from the Badgers No. 1 defense a year ago.

The Hawaii native is not only set to have a big year in 2022, but he also recently helped Wisconsin land his former high school teammate in Kamo'i Latu in the transfer portal.

Based on his production from a season ago and his outstanding leadership, Herbig is up for a prestigious award.

The Lott Impact Trophy committee released its 42 pre-season candidates on Thursday, and Nick Herbig notably made the cut.

An award dedicated to the top defensive players in the country who make an impact on and off the field, the Lott Impact Trophy is named after former star safety Ronnie Lott. The award looks at a player's IMPACT, which is an acronym for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community, and tenacity.

Herbig enters 2022 as a two-year starter after earning a starting spot as a true freshman in 2020. He finished third on the team with 64 tackles last season, 14.5 of which went for a loss and a team-high nine sacks. He also recovered two fumbles and broke up four passes.

With Leo Chenal and Jack Sanborn no longer on the roster, Herbig will shoulder an even greater role as a pass-rusher next season, and based on his consistent growth year-over-year, he should be up for the task.

Also on the watch list from the Big Ten include:

  • Jack Campbell and Riley Ross from Iowa
  • Zach Harrison and Ronnie Hickman from Ohio State
  • Joey Porter Jr. of Penn State
  • Xavier Henderson at Michigan State
  • Luke Reimer of Nebraska
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The Lott Impact Trophy will undoubtedly not be the only watch list that Herbig finds himself on this off-season, but it is a big honor for the junior linebacker.

J.J. Watt is a former winner of the award for the Badgers, and someone from the Big Ten has won the award in five of the last seven seasons. 

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