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Friday, February 17, 2012
Big Ten rankings: No. 17, Peter Konz

By Adam Rittenberg

The 2011 postseason top 25 player rankings march on with No. 17. As a reminder, these rankings are based on performance during the past season and impact on a team, and not on future potential for college or the NFL. Our next player, however, projects extremely well to the next level.

Back to America's Dairyland we go ...

No. 17: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin, Jr., 6-foot-5, 315

Preseason ranking: Not ranked

2011 numbers: Started at center for 11 games, missing three with an ankle injury. He anchored an offensive line that triggered the nation's No. 11 rushing offense, as Wisconsin averaged 235.6 yards per game on the ground. Wisconsin also led the Big Ten in both scoring (44.1 ppg) and total offense (469.9 ypg).

Why he's here: Despite losing two All-American linemen (Gabe Carimi, John Moffitt) and several other playmakers from a record-setting offense in 2011, Wisconsin kept rolling along, and Konz was a big reason why. He solidified an offensive line that punished the opposition and paved the way for junior running back Montee Ball, who won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors and was a Heisman Trophy finalist after scoring a record 39 touchdowns.

While Michigan's David Molk won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center, Konz was a finalist and might have claimed the award had he not suffered a dislocated ankle against Minnesota on Nov. 12. The Badgers missed Konz down the stretch of the regular season, but he returned to lead a strong offensive line performance against Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Konz earned second-team AP All-America honors and first-team honors from the AFCA and Pro Football Weekly. After a strong draft evaluation, Konz opted to forgo his senior season and turn pro.

Previously

No. 18: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
No. 19: Gerald Hodges, LB, Penn State
No. 20
: Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
No. 21
: Marcus Coker, RB, Iowa
No. 22
: Silas Redd, RB, Penn State
No. 23
: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
No. 24
: Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin
No. 25
: Fitz Toussaint, RB, Michigan