Big Ten Football Top 150 Players: No. 107, Ethan Hemer, Wisconsin DT
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No. 107: Ethan Hemer, No. 87, DT, Wisconsin
2011 Stats: 34 tackles, one sack, one pass breakup
Wisconsin's defensive production was dominated by linebackers Chris Borland and Mike Taylor in 2011, and whenever linebackers are allowed to run riot like that, it starts with great play up front.
Ethan Hemer is an absolute space-eater, occupying blockers and keeping linemen from moving the point of attack or reaching the next level. He's also remarkably athletic at 6'6" and 300 pounds; he could put on 20 pounds and still be effective.
Hemer still needs to turn his physical skills into greater production on the football field.
Yes, he's great at disrupting blocking schemes—and fellow defensive tackle Patrick Butrym was a worse offender in non-production—but the one thing better than a linebacker making a play for a short gain is a defensive tackle blowing it all up to begin with.
Wisconsin could use more of that from Hemer.
If Hemer shows even modest progress coming into his junior year and second season of starting, Wisconsin is going to be set in the front seven this season.
He probably won't challenge for All-Big Ten honors until he starts making more than one tackle behind the line of scrimmage per year, but that's a usage issue more than anything. As it stands, he'd start on nearly every Big Ten line.
Look for closer to 50 tackles, around five tackles for loss and probably a big play or two involving a loose ball.
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