From Badger to Bear: Jack Sanborn Makes Chicago’s 53-Man Roster

By Christina Lorey

August 30, 2022

He joins the ranks of five other former UW linebackers currently playing in the NFL.

He didn’t get drafted, but Jack Sanborn’s dream of going pro is coming true.

After a promising preseason with the Chicago Bears, Sanborn was named to the team’s 53-man roster Tuesday.

As the second-leading tackler on the University of Wisconsin’s top-ranked defense last season, the 6’2” linebacker set career highs in total tackles (89) and tackles for a loss (16) as a senior. Sanborn finished his college career with 228 tackles, 29 for loss, and 11.5 sacks over four seasons in Madison. He was named first-team All-Big Ten and All-American last fall.

In three preseason games with the Bears, Sanborn’s 14.0 sops(stops?)  were the most by any player on Chicago’s defense.

“Jack Sanborn, you can’t deny his production right now,” Special Teams Coordinator Richard Hightower told 247 Sports. “He made two tackles inside the 20 last game, he made tackles the game before that, he had an interception on defense. So, everyone can see that.”

“I left it all out there,” Sanborn said, of his performance after the Bears’ 21-20 win over the Browns. “Whatever happens, happens. But I’m going to be happy with how I played.”

Sanborn will join T.J. Edwards (Philadelphia Eagles), T.J. Watt (Pittsburgh Steelers), Zack Baun (New Orleans Saints), Leo Chenal (Kansas City Chiefs), and Andrew Van Ginkel (Miami Dolphins) as former Badger linebackers currently playing in the NFL.

Congrats, Jack!


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.



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