Due to COVID-19, nearly every reporter that covers Wisconsin hasn’t seen a minute of live practice this fall. Instead of using our eyes to report on what’s been happening during camp, we’ve had to rely on short video clips put out by the Badgers and what we’re hearing from the players and coaches themselves. Among the more notable items we’ve learned is a couple of true freshmen turning heads early on.
Wide receiver Chimere Dike has been the standout on offense among the young players. We got a look at that when Wisconsin posted this video on Twitter of the Waukesha product.
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 7, 2020
The praise about the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Dike started with offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph last week.
“He’s already shown a level of understanding and maturity that’s greater than his experience level here in college,” Rudolph said. “He’s been impressive.”
It continued when reporters got a chance to talk with the quarterbacks Thursday.
“I heard people were talking about Chim a little bit, but to be completely honest he’s not that good. We don’t like him at all,” redshirt freshman Graham Mertz joked. “Chim is a great guy. I love his approach. I think the way he’s been working, and the questions he’s asked, he’s definitely beyond his age. He’s going to be a great one here.”
“He’s a stud,” redshirt sophomore Chase Wolf added. “He’s going to be a guy we rely on in the future.”
On the other side of the ball it’s outside linebacker Nick Herbig. Defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield mentioned the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Hawaiian without being prompted.
“We’ve got a lot of good guys coming off the edge,” Breckterfield said. “Nick Herbig is really doing his thing in camp.”
Defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk took that a step further.
“There’s a lot of guys who have been stepping up all across the board at outside backer,” Loudermilk said. “(Herbig), he’s been just absolutely tearing it up. He’s going to be a guy that’s a special talent.”
True freshmen haven’t made a huge impact at wide receiver or outside linebacker in recent seasons and that may continue to be the case this year. But with big production holes to fill with Quintez Cephus and Zack Baun now in the NFL, Dike and Herbig could be among the first-year players to see the field this fall.