Luke Fickell’s defense has found a true leader on the back end of the defense this season. That player for Wisconsin is Hunter Wohler, the versatile safety who has started the season with a bang.

Through 3 games, Wohler is leading the Badgers with 34 total tackles and 2 interceptions. He has delivered 3 games with 10+ tackles and was named the B1G’s Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

During his Monday press conference, Fickell admitted it was during Wisconsin’s bowl game that he first had an idea of what Wohler could do defensively.

“Very versatile, I think that’s probably the first thing that stood out. I didn’t get an opportunity in bowl practice to really see him. It was unique because he pulled a hamstring. Obviously got hurt early in the season, but then bowl season, he was out for most of practice and then played in the game,” said Fickell. “I was surprised as to how well he played and even that he was able to play from not practicing. That was probably my first indication there were some natural things he does really well.”

Fickell went on to say Wohler has a natural ability to play with confidence. The head coach used Wohler’s second interception from Saturday’s game to illustrate the point.

“No matter what, I think there are some really natural things to what it is he does. You’re talking about a guy with confidence, I think that’s where you see him in particular,” Fickell explained. “The second interception is a phenomenal play but it’s just great confidence of doing his job but still being able to react to whatever happens within the situation of the game.”

While Fickell loves the versatility, he also admitted the Badgers need to “be smart” in how the defense uses that skill set.

“We’ve gotta be smart that we don’t try to use him in too many ways and still give him opportunities to be close to the ball to use some of those instinctual things that he has,” said Fickell.

Through 3 games, Wohler has set the tone defensively and has a chance to put together a special season for the Badgers. We’ll see how he builds on that as Wisconsin begins B1G play.