It didn’t seem plausible that there was an award for an offensive line position that a University of Wisconsin football player hadn’t won yet.
Junior center Tyler Biadasz remedied that on Thursday.
Biadasz was named the Rimington Trophy winner as the nation’s most outstanding center, marking the first Badger to win the award.
“I’m extremely grateful, very blessed to have this award,” Biadasz said on the ESPN telecast.
He thanked his family, coaches and teammates for getting him to this stage of his career. The Amherst product came to the Badgers never having played center or snapped a football in a game, but has become the nation’s best.
The Rimington Trophy, awarded by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, is named after Dave Rimington, a former Nebraska center who won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best lineman twice. Rimington was a graduate-assistant coach for the Badgers when they won the Rose Bowl in 1994.
Biadasz was the leader of another strong UW offensive line that helped produce 34.6 points, 240.5 rushing yards and 201.2 passing yards per game. According to ESPN, more than 1,400 of the Badgers’ 3,127 rushing yards this season came up the middle.
Biadasz — who has made 40 consecutive starts over the past three seasons — has also shown his ability to pull and be a lead blocker for outside runs.
“The camaraderie. The unit we have, it’s been a blast. On the field we’re together, but off the field we’re together too,” Biadasz said of the UW line’s success. “The group of guys we have, it’s been a blessing. For them to let me lead and work with them, it’s unreal. I couldn’t be more blessed with the group I have. This is for them, too, it’s not just for me.”
UW offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Joe Rudolph said in a press release that Biadasz exemplifies what the Badgers are about.
“He’s intelligent, he has a tremendous work ethic, and he has proven himself to be an amazing leader for our team. We couldn’t be more proud of the player and person he’s become, and I consider myself fortunate to have the chance to coach him,” Rudolph said. “We have a strong offensive line tradition at Wisconsin, and for Tyler to be our first Rimington Trophy winner is special. He has certainly earned it.”
Biadasz was also a finalist for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best interior linemen, but Oregon’s Penei Sewell was named the winner. Biadasz was the fifth finalist for the Outland in UW history after Aaron Gibson (1998), Chris McIntosh (1999), Joe Thomas (2006) and Gabe Carimi (2010).