MADISON - Wisconsin’s big man is under consideration for a big honor.
Senior right tackle Rob Havenstein - he of the 6-foot-8, 327-pound frame - was named Thursday to the watch list for the Outland Trophy, the award presented annually to college football’s top interior lineman.
A second-team All-Big Ten selection by the league’s media last season, Havenstein is Wisconsin’s most experienced returner for 2014. The Mount Airy, Maryland, native has played in all 40 games over his first three seasons and started all 27 of UW’s games over the past two years.
He is one of four returning starters for the Badgers on the offensive line, a group that helped UW set multiple all-time marks in 2013. Wisconsin’s offense set school records for total offense (480.8 yards per game), rushing yards (3,689) and rushing average (6.62 yards per carry). The Badgers also posted the third-best scoring mark in school history by averaging 34.8 points per game.
It was also announced Thursday that Havenstein was selected as one of three players to represent Wisconsin at Big Ten Media Days July 28-29 in Chicago, joining senior nose tackle Warren Herring and junior tailback Melvin Gordon.
Havenstein is one of nine Big Ten players named to the Outland Trophy watch list, a group that includes seven offensive linemen. Interior linemen on both offense and defense are eligible for the award and, in all, 64 players were named to the watch list.
Semifinalists for the award will be named on Nov. 20, with three finalists later selected from among the players named to the Football Writers Association of America’s All-America teams. The winner will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11.
The opportunity is there for Havenstein, with only two returning FWAA All-America linemen listed on the watch list. Oregon’s Hroniss Grasu and Iowa’s Brandon Scherff were second-team All-America picks last season.