The game of football is a family tradition for Vince Biegel and his talented relatives.
Vince’s grandfather Ken Biegel played linebacker and offensive guard in Division III college football. His father Rocky was a linebacker at BYU 1988 to 1992. Vince’s uncle T.D. played fullback on the same Brigham Young squad as his father from 1989 to 1993. Vince played outside linebacker for the Wisconsin Badgers from 2012 to 2016 and even suited up alongside his brother Hayden for a few seasons.
He received a medical redshirt in 2012 after injuring his foot and appearing in only two games. In 2013 he played in 13 games, starting two of them.
The 2014 season would be Biegel’s breakout season as a Badger, as he recorded 56 tackles with 16.5 of those being for a loss while recording 7.5 sacks. Biegel was named second team All Big Ten for his efforts.
The very next season was another strong showing for Biegel as he appeared on numerous preseason award watch lists including the Bednarik, Butkus and Lombardi Awards. He finished the season with 66 tackles, 14 for a loss and added eight more sacks to his career total.
Heading into his senior season Biegel was named by Pro Football Focus as the top returning outside linebacker for pass rush and run defense. He was named second Team All Big Ten at the conclusion of the season.
The Green Bay Packers drafted the Wisconsin native in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After battling through some injuries, he was waived by the Packers in September of 2018. That same month he was picked up by the New Orleans Saints and signed to their practice squad and quickly moved to their active roster later that month.
In September of 2019, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins. In August of 2020, he tore his ACL and missed the entire 2020 season.
Biegel again tried to battle through injuries this season but was ultimately released by the Dolphins in September of this year.
The current NFL free agent took time recently to discuss hunting autographs at Packers camp as a kid, his own collection and how it’s changed from childhood to current day and the interesting name selections on his family tree.
Tony Reid- The autograph experience has been meaningful to you on many levels. Can you tell us about your first autograph experience on both sides of the ball, as a fan and then as a player yourself?
Vince Biegel– I’m sure I’m like a lot of your readers as I am a huge Packers fan. I grew up in the state of Wisconsin. I was one of those kids who had my jerseys and footballs all over the place asking Packers players for their autograph. One of my first autograph experiences was being at Packers training camp and getting Aaron Rodgers’ autograph. At the time Brett Favre wasn’t giving out his autograph. He was such a big star at the time. Aaron Rogers was the second string quarterback kind of in the shadows. Aaron would sign but Brett wouldn’t. I remember looking up to A.J. Hawk. From that point on, I was really hooked into cards and sports memorabilia. I always wanted to be a professional football player growing up. So, fast forward when I got into college people started asking me for my autograph. It was cool to come full circle. I always wanted to take the time and sign for kids and be respectful because of the impact it had on my life. I wanted to be able to reciprocate that.
TR–What did your card and memorabilia collection look like as that young kid chasing down Green Bay Packers players?
VB– Its funny you ask that because during Covid you had all the idle time to go back and check. I actually went back through my old collection. I really didn’t have much. I collected whatever the cheapest pack was selling for at the card shop that day. The quality of cards was nothing special but I always collected the Packers. I grew up idolizing Brian Urlacher. I collected his stuff. Some of my prized possessions were the Aaron Rodgers rookies I had, the Packers football signed by all of the guys and the Brett Favre autographed card. Now fast forwarding to today, I have had fun collecting my own cards. I have my rookie cards. It’s not every day where somebody gets to collect their own stuff. I have had fun being able to come full circle and get a few of my cards and hopefully pass them down to my kids someday.
TR– You had a 2012 Leaf Army All American Bowl autographed card, a few cards at Wisconsin and your rookie cards appeared in 2017 products. Being a collector yourself, what was it like to see yourself on a trading card for the first time?
VB-What was crazy was that I was in high school when I got my first card. I was a top high school prospect. I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in the national high school All American Senior Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. I had that first card in 2012 like you mentioned. That was really cool. The next cards came at Wisconsin. We got little fan cutouts of the card. Then I got my rookie cards. It’s been fun to be able to look back and see the progression. I have a few of the Senior Bowl cards. I have my rookie cards. It has been a pleasure collecting.
TR-You mentioned collecting as a kid and now you are back into collecting. What was it that got you back into cards?
VB-Yeah there was a lull where I wasn’t collecting for a while. It was life but over the last year and a half now I really got back into collecting. Is it the hype? Maybe some of it is the hype but it’s also the strong rookie classes coming out. I think cards were undervalued. It was going back home during the pandemic and looking through your old collection and wondering about those LeBron rookies. You really saw the card market take off to where it’s at now. The lull was life but it is fun to get back into it and really spark that inner kid that we, as collectors, all have.
TR- I saw you online selling some really cool slabs on Grand Slam After Hours. What was it that made you jump in with the regular collectors like us and start buying and selling a little bit?
VB-Whatever I do, whether it’s playing football, investing or dealing in cards, I go full all in. That is the kind of personality I have. The first thing I did was put $20,000 aside and invest in cards. I looked at the rookies coming out in 2019-20 which were Zion (Williamson) and Ja (Morant). What is the highest quality product out there? In my opinion it was Prizm. I started going after big Prizm cards. The angle I wanted to work was raw cards. There are a lot of different ways to skin a cat. I started buying up all the raw Zion’s and Ja’s on Facebook, on eBay in other situations that were right. I had about $7,000 to $8,000 invested in raw cards at that point. I sent them into PSA when it was still $9 grading. It was well over a year ago. I had a pretty decent grading experience.
It’s been fun to throw some of those slabs on Grand Slam After Hours. Shout out to Nate and the team at Grand Slam. I love being able to follow those guys. They are the best in the business. They have an unbelievable customer community there. It has been fun for me to hop in there. They took me in and that’s where I like to give the best deals. So, I started selling off some of those slabs and made a little money.
TR-I couldn’t help but notice your recent post of the 1976 Topps Walter Payton RC. That Sweetness was calling my name. I have a few lower grade copies, so I tell myself you have three you don’t really need that really, beautiful, spectacular fourth one.
VB– Tony, here is the thing, brother. You sell those lower grades then you have that one just apple at 7.5 rookie card.
TR-You know how it goes. You get cards in the collection and it becomes part of the family. I can’t get rid of one of the kids to add another, right?
VB-That’s right. You, I and all the readers know you start becoming attached to your cards and it becomes part of the family. It’s hard to trade off one of the kids.
TR-You mentioned growing up in Wisconsin as a huge Packers fan. I read that you were actually named after legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi. Is that an internet rumor or is that true?
VB-That is 100% true. I come from a football family. My dad Rocky, was named after Knute Rockne. He was a football player who played at BYU. I have an uncle named Thorpe after Jim Thorpe. They all played college football. My brother’s name is Hayden after Hayden Fry, the Iowa coach. We played together at Wisconsin. Football is in our blood. It’s in our family. When I have a son one day I’m sure he will be named after a former player as well. Coach Bo (Schembechler) so I am thinking Bo Biegel.
It’s cool to be on both sides of the isle as a professional athlete and also see it from a collector’s standpoint. It gives me a good outlook. When I got injured it gave me that time to get a different perspective that maybe I didn’t see when I was on the field. It will be fun to see what the hobby does in the next few years but it’s a fun thing to be able to do and hopefully be able to pass on to the kids.