From left tackle to right guard, the starters have locked down their position to the please of head coach Bret Bielema. At right tackle, however, a question still remains. Casey Dehn was given a chance during the start of camp, but after the first two weeks was replaced with freshman Robby Havenstein.
At a towering six-foot-eight Havenstein clearly has the size and strength — and it is quickly becoming apparent he has the feet to play tackle, too.
If he can put it all together between now and September, Havenstein will ensure all of the Badger offensive linemen reach All-Big Ten status for the second year in a row.
Badger Nation caught up with the freshman after practice Tuesday.
Badger Nation: How does it feel going from scout team to lining up with the ones in the span of three months?
Havenstein: It definitely feels good. I know I have to come out here everyday and work and just get better, but it definitely feels pretty good.
Badger Nation: Did you expect this to happen at all?
Havenstein: I guess I couldn't really say I expected anything. I am doing my best that I can whether I am with the ones, the twos or the threes, I just need to put myself out there.
Badger Nation: Knowing the tradition and talent of the Badger offensive lines, what does it mean to be in the talk for a starter so early in your career?
Havenstein: It feels so cool. Wisconsin has a lot of big guys and we like to run the ball, and that is what I like to do.
Badger Nation: Talking to Kevin Zeitler who lines up next to you, he says your performance is getting better with each practice. Do you feel the same way?
Havenstein: I can definitely say that. First coming in, you get a pass protection call and it is like, 'what the hell is going to go one here, who is going to show up?' Now, especially with Kevin's help, we will go watch film after practice and break it down with him He will show me little adjustments, little alignments that can help me out.
Badger Nation: How has it been lining up with experienced veterans all along the line?
Havenstein: They obviously have a lot of chemistry coming in, but being next to Kevin — one of the best guards in the nation — he has put me under his wing and really brought me along … he is making the calls, pointing the guys out and really helping me understand the game better.
Badger Nation: Obviously you have lost some weight from the fall, what do you currently weigh in at?
Havenstein: I'm at 343.
Badger Nation: And what did you weigh in the fall ?
Havenstein: I was at 380.
Badger Nation: So what have done to lose all this weight but maintain your strength?
Havenstein: The biggest thing was my diet, just eating better. Knowing when to eat, when not to eat. It was a lot of little meals every day, instead of just sitting down and eating a whole bunch of stuff. Making sure to eat an apple to tide you over.
And then I went on the stair master a lot … [laughs].
Badger Nation: How have you felt than with your quickness and just feet in general?
Havenstein: I definitely feel better, not carrying 40 pounds just really helps.
Badger Nation: You look light out there, did you play any other sports in high school?
Havenstein: I have been playing basketball since I was in second grade and I played lacrosse up until my sophomore year than I switched over to track.
I think it definitely helps. The people who just play one sport and then are in the weight room the rest of the time are getting stronger, but they can't work on their feet and footwork as much as they could playing live sports. You are always going just a little bit harder when there is something on the line.
Badger Nation: There is a lot of time until the opening game next fall, but have you allowed yourself to consider the possibility of starting next fall?
Havenstein: I can't really think that far ahead now. I just need to get better during spring ball and really get better during that spring game. Just kind of prove myself during fall camp. If it falls that way, I definitely won't say no to it, you know.