RIVER FALLS, WIS. – Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sang the praises of former Hill Murray linebacker Jack Cichy on Thursday at the annual Northwest Badger Golf Classic.
“I got introduced to him during spring ball [last year],” Chryst said. “But seeing him progress, you started to realize that he truly has a knack for the game.”
Cichy, who hails from Somerset, Wis., played at Hill Murray under former Badgers quarterback Brooks Bollinger. The 6-2, 223-pound Cichy was the Pioneers’ 2012 team MVP as a senior and made 107 tackles, but his best scholarship offers came from North Dakota State and Holy Cross.
So Cichy walked on at Wisconsin. After playing sparingly for the Badgers in 2013, he redshirted in 2014. Last year, he finished fifth on the team with 60 tackles, including eight for a loss.
He had a breakout performance in the Holiday Bowl, notching three sacks of USC quarterback Cody Kessler. They came on the same series – first down, second down and third down – forcing a fourth-and-38. Teammates started calling him “Three Sack Jack.”
Cichy, who has been placed on scholarship, has a chance to earn a starting linebacker role this year as a junior in Wisconsin’s 3-4 defense. He’ll be battling T.J. Edwards and Chris Orr for playing time at inside linebacker, and is capable of playing outside linebacker, too.
“Even when he wasn’t starting, he would make plays,” Chryst said while awaiting the banquet at the River Falls Golf Club. “He kind of knew where the ball was and had an impact. He’s still a guy who can play a number of different positions for us. That’s a heck of a thing.”