Leo Chenal quickly making an impact in first year as Badgers’ starter

As a true freshman in 2019, Leo Chenal saw playing time in 11 games. In his limited action he recorded 20 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries.

It bode well for a successful and productive 2020 for the Wisconsin inside linebacker.

Chenal hasn’t disappointed.

He’s second on Wisconsin in tackles, has a sack and an interception. This past Saturday against Northwestern, he had six tackles.

Oh, and five quarterback hurries.

More Badgers coverage

How impressive was that? In 2019, only two Badgers had more than five QBH all season: Zack Baun (10) and Chris Orr (8). In 2017, only one UW defender had that many (Leon Jacobs, 8), and as recently as 2014, five QBH led the team!

Joe Schobert, who led the ’15 Badgers in QBH, was the last Wisconsin player to record five hurries in a game, back on Oct. 3, 2015 vs. Iowa.

The only other Badgers defensive player to have at least four QBH since 2009 was Chris Borland, who had four vs. Michigan State on Sept. 26, 2009. No one had more than three QBH in a road game in that span until Chenal on Saturday.

Here’s the complete rundown of the young Badgers after three games:

 

“TRUE” FRESHMEN
Jalen Berger, RB
Illinois: Did not play
Michigan: 15 rush, 87 yards, TD; 2 receptions, 13 yards
Northwestern: 15 rush, 93 yards

Chimere Dike, WR
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Started, 2 receptions, 29 yards; 1 rush, 30 yards
Northwestern: Started, 2 receptions, 52 yards, TD

Nick Herbig, OLB
Illinois: Started, 1 tackle (solo), sack, TFL, PBU
Michigan: Started, 5 tackles (5 solo), 3 TFL
Northwestern: Started, 3 tackles (3 solo), TFL, 2 QBH

Jack Nelson, OL
Illinois: Did not play
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play

Riley Nowakowski, OLB
Illinois: 1 tackle (solo)
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

Jack Van Dyke, K
Illinois: 8 kickoffs, 1 touchback
Michigan: 8 kickoffs, 4 touchbacks; 1 tackle (solo)
Northwestern: 2 kickoffs, 0 touchbacks

Aaron Witt, OLB
Illinois: Did not play
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

Preston Zachman, ILB
Illinois: Did not play
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play

Have not played
Haakon Anderson, WR; Dylan Barrett, OL; Ben Barten, OL; Tano Bortolini, OL; Devin Chandler, WR; Cole Dakovich, TE; Ross Gengler, ILB; Kaden Johnson, OLB; Kerry Kodanko, OL; Cam Large, TE; Max Lofy, CB; Cade McDonald, DE; Gavin Meyers, K/P; Malik Reed, ILB; Isaac Smith, WR; Sean Timmis, OL; Jordan Turner, ILB; Trey Wedig, OL; Amaun Williams, CB; Daniel Wright, QB;

Out for season
James Thompson Jr., DE (1 game, no stats)

 

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN
Stephan Bracy, WR
Illinois: 2 kick returns for 28 yards
Michigan: 1 kick return for 33 yards; 1 rush, 3 yards
Northwestern: 3 kick returns, 53 yards; 1 reception, 11 yards

Logan Brown, OL
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

Dean Engram, WR
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: 2 punt returns for 0 yards
Northwestern: 3 punt returns, 7 yards

Tatum Grass, ILB
Illinois: 1 tackle (solo)
Michigan: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

Spencer Lytle, OLB
Illinois: Did not play
Michigan: 1 tackle
Northwestern: FR

Semar Melvin, CB
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: 1 tackle (solo)
Northwestern: 1 tackle

Graham Mertz, QB
Illinois: Started, 20-of-21 passing, 248 yards, 5 TD; 5 rush, 2 yards
Michigan: Started, 12-of-22 passing, 127 yards, 2 TD; 3 rush, 8 yards
Northwestern: Started, 23-of-41 passing, 230 yards, TD, 3 INT; 7 rush, 13 yards

Hayden Rucci, TE
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: 1 tackle (solo)

Joe Tippmann, OL
Illinois: Did not play
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic

Titus Toler, S
Illinois: INT
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play

Have not played
Peter Bowden, LS; Dante Caputo, S; Clay Cundiff, TE; Julius Davis, RB; Quan Easterling, FB; Rodas Johnson, DE; Cooper Nelson, WR; Maema Njongmeta, ILB; Gio Paez, DE.

 

“TRUE” SOPHOMORES
Keeanu Benton, NT
Illinois: Started, 3 tackles (2 solo)
Michigan: Started, 1 tackle
Northwestern: Started, 1 tackle (solo), FF

Leo Chenal, ILB
Illinois: Started, 4 tackles (1 solo)
Michigan: Started, 3 tackles (3 solo), sack, TFL, INT, QBH
Northwestern: Started, six tackles (3 solo), 5 QBH

Jordan DiBenedetto, WR
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic