staff, January 10, 2012

Wisconsin junior center Peter Konz announced Tuesday that he will forgo his senior season and enter his name into the 2012 NFL Draft. A Rimington Trophy finalist this season, Konz started 31 games at center for Wisconsin over the last three years. This year he was named first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches? Association and Pro Football Weekly. He was also a first-team All-Big Ten choice by the league?s media.

?As you've probably heard, I have decided to forgo my senior season and enter the NFL draft,? Konz said. ?Because of the support I have received, the degree I am so proud to leave with, the football legacy I helped leave behind, and more reasons than I could even remember, I would simply like to say thank you. Every last person has made my experience at Wisconsin far beyond what I could have imagined and without you I could never be where I am today.?

Read Konz's letter to all Wisconsin fans.

Wisconsin's Montee Ball
US Presswire

Konz stepped in at center as a redshirt freshman in 2009 after Travis Frederick was injured in the second game of the season. He went on to start the next nine games and be named a first-team freshman All-American by The Sporting News.

?I wish nothing but the best for Pete in his family moving forward," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said in a statement. "He has the opportunity to join a long line of Badger offensive linemen who have gone on to have success in the NFL and I expect nothing less from him.?

Since 1999, UW has had 13 offensive linemen taken in the NFL draft, tied for second-most in the country (only Notre Dame, with 15, has more). Last year, three former Badgers were taken in the draft, tied with Florida for the most of any school. Konz joins senior guard Kevin Zeitler and senior tackle Josh Oglesby as draft-eligible linemen this year.