A few minutes after being selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 108th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, former Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Vince Biegel called into the Packers’ media room to hold a press conference with the Packers press corps.
Biegel is understandably thrilled about being picked by his home team, and he vows to bring the same attitude and professionalism to the Green and Gold. Here are some of his comments from the press conference.
Is it a dream come true to be drafted by the Packers?
“Without a question. Obviously I grew up in the state of Wisconsin, I dreamed of being a Wisconsin Badger first, and I dreamed of one day playing in the NFL. If you look at old pictures of me growing up, I was wearing green and gold and wearing a cheesehead. I was as Wisconsin a kid as you can be. I feel incredibly blessed.”
Did you have a feeling that the Packers might draft you?
“I hoped so. I had some contact with the Green Bay Packers. I talked with them a little bit in the process. I had them at the Senior Bowl, I talked with them at my Pro Day. I understand that they needed an OLB and for me to be able to come in there and fill that role, I’m really excited.”
Alonzo Highsmith mentioned your professionalism as a big plus:
“That’s one thing that I relly feel that I try to be not just a professional on the field but a professional off the field. I try to help my community ...
“What’s the front seven doing, how does my drops in coverage fit into the back end of the defense. On and off the field I try to conduct myself as a true professional and I think that’s a credit to my (LB) coach Tim Tibesar ... he said he’s gonna treat us like pros and that gave us a great transition.”
Which NFL players do you look up to?
“One of them is Clay Matthews. I have a ton of respect for Clay, a ton of respect for him as a player, his big play capabilities. I’m going to be humble and try to learn from great players like Clay and the rest. I can’t be more excited.”
Were you disappointed not to be drafted on Friday?
“Had a nice little draft party here last night, patiently waiting, and obviously my name wasn’t called last night. I’m a very religious guy and I trust in the process and what do you know, I wake up this morning early. When there were 3 minutes left on the clock (I was getting discouraged that the Packers wouldn’t take me). Then my phone blows up and says Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I can’t be more excited.”
Does this make wedding planning easier?
“You know what, it definitely does. I’m getting married July 1st. Now the whole wedding stuff is planned out. I’m putting all my energy into football. My soon-to-be wife Sarah is excited to stay in Wisconsin as well.”
How excited are you for T.J. Watt?
“T.J. and I were teammates. What a great player, I sent T.J. a text and congratulated him with the Steelers, I couldn’t be more proud of him. Not just him but (Joe) Schobert with the Browns. Me and T.J. had some great conversations throughout the process, just want to represent Wisconsin as best we could.”
How hard was it to sit out two games with an injury last year?
“It was, yeah, last season I had a foot injury that caused me to sit out two games, but I was able to recover very very quickly ... I learned a lot from that process. Obviously injuries are a reality of the game of football but it definitely made me appreciate the game of football again. I won’t have to travel very much. I’m watching the draft here in Wisconsin Rapids, so just a 1.5, 2 hour drive.”
Being from Wisconsin, how familiar are you with the Packers’ scheme and roster?
I definitely know their personnel, I know they’re a predominantly 3-4 defense. I’m just excited to get to work and start learning, not just from the defensive guys but the offensive guys. Obviously the Packers have the greatest quarterback in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers.
Will the mullet make a comeback?
“I just got my pre-haircut for the NFL Draft. To grow it out (for this season) I’d have to start now. The mullet all in due time will come back, I’m sure.”
How did your family react?
“There was a guy who was crying pretty hard, and that was my dad. We have a strong family history here in the state of Wisconsin. My grandfather Ken was a hall of fame coach in high school, my dad and my uncle both played HS football here. My brother and I both played college football at Wisconsin. We feel very honored to represent the state of Wisconsin.”
Is it fun having experience watching and playing games at Lambeau Field?
“Being able to play at Lambeau, besides LSU and us there’s not any college football players that have had that experience. Not only did I play college football there, but I also went to games there too. I sat in the stands, I did NFL tours there when I was younger. I looked up to players there as a kid. A.J. Hawk was a guy I looked up to a ton. Now being able to live that dream, riding those bikes, that’s something special.”
What were your best memories of growing up a Packers fan?
“There’s a lot of memories. I was a big Brett Favre fan, I have a ton of respect for Brett. A good family friend of ours as well, Ty Detmer, played for the Packers as well. Those are some of the memories I have, seeing Ty after the game, living in the moment. As a kid, the stadium, the atmosphere is really larger than life.”