Jan. 10, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin junior center Peter Konz announced Tuesday that he will forgo his senior season at Wisconsin and enter his name into the 2012 NFL Draft.
“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 complete letter to Badger fans here
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.
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.
Last year, he started 11 of 13 games at center, missing the Indiana and Michigan games after spraining his ankle against Iowa. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.
A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Konz was named to the ESPN Academic All-District Team in 2010.
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.
Statement from Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema:
“I knew when we received the information back from the NFL that Pete would have a tough decision ahead of him. He has been one of the most enjoyable players I have had the pleasure to coach. I know being a Badger meant the world to him and his family. I want to thank him not only for all his hard work and effort on the field but for also representing our program and the University of Wisconsin in a first-class manner throughout his career.
“I also want to thank his mother, Margaret, who has been a big part of our program and has done outstanding work with all our parents. She has been an absolute pleasure to get to know and I know she will miss watching Pete in a Badger uniform.
“I wish nothing but the best for Pete in his family moving forward. 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.”