Wisconsin will return its entire starting offensive line for 2018.
The picture included left tackle Michael Deiter, who was debating whether to turn pro or return for his senior year. He got a return-to-school grade from the draft advisory committee and has taken their advice.
After starting at guard and center his first two seasons, Deiter moved to left tackle out of necessity this season and more than held his own, earning All-Big Ten honors and even a third-team All-American nod. But his best spot is probably at his previous positions, and offensive line coach Joe Rudolph said during bowl prep that he would like for someone to step up at left tackle, allowing for Deiter to move back inside.
No matter what, though, this is the first time in recent memory that Wisconsin has returned its entire starting offensive line from the previous season. In addition to Deiter, a three-year starter, the Badgers also bring back a three-year starter in All-American right guard Beau Benzschawel (36 starts), All-American right tackle David Edwards (21 starts), freshman All-American center Tyler Biadasz (14 starts) and left guard Jon Dietzen (19 starts). Add in talented backups in the form of Jason Erdmann (26 games played), Cole Van Lanen (13 games played), Patrick Karl (13 games played) and a promising true freshman in Kayden Lyles, and the Badgers appear to be finally back at full strength along the offensive line.
Oh, and Deiter isn’t just an offensive lineman. He showed off his pass catching skills this year as well.