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July 14, 2011
Key Badgers: No. 7 Peter Konz
By Tom Lea
Sometimes when you see Peter Konz sprinting down field, so cavalier-esque, it's almost as though you're watching a tight end run one of his routes, just with no set direction. He's that athletic. His body size, frame and agility scream anything but the stereotypical center of yesteryear.
He's able to do things many players of his same position could only have dreamt of. And if you're an opposing defensive back trying to bring down one of UW's vitriolic big men of the backfield, you already have enough on your plate. Throw in a lumbering, yet swift-moving, offensive lineman like Konz and suddenly you're less concerned with bringing down the tailback as you are with getting through the play in a manner that would allow you to see the next one.
All right, maybe that's a little hyperbolic, but the main point remains true. Of all the centers in the Big Ten, and perhaps nationally, there aren't many that are capable of doing what Konz is on a down-by-down basis. He's good in pass protection and even better in run blocking sets, particularly when he's able to pull and get out ahead in space.
That's why he's so valuable to this Wisconsin team.
Providing his injury-riddled ankles are able to hold up throughout the rigors of his third Big Ten season as a player, it's fair to say that he's one of the key cogs to Bob Bostad's offensive line machine; the same one that has produced back-to-back Outland Trophy winners at the left tackle position in Joe Thomas and Gabe Carimi.
As the quarterback of the offensive line, Konz has several duties to fulfill each and every down. He needs to recognize impending blitzes/ers and needs to make the right reads and calls every time. We all know he's going to do fine at that because he's proven capable of it throughout his first two seasons at the positions. If the status quo is what Badger fans will get with Konz, there could be worse things.
If those same fans get more than the modus operandi, though, they'll be in for a treat, and one that could potentially vie for a spot among the greats at the Wisconsin offensive lineman position.
That's something to get excited about.
UP NEXT: No. 6 on our list hopes to break through in a huge way, much like his predecessors have at his position each of the past two years.
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