MADISON – One season is all Ryan Ramczyk needed to make an impact at the University of Wisconsin. And that one season was enough for the junior left tackle to feel ready to take the next step for the N.F.L.
After receiving a first-round grade from the N.F.L. draft advisory board, Ramczyk has decided to forego his senior season and declare for the draft. The news was first reported by the Stevens Point Journal.
The junior admitted he was struggling with the decision, especially knowing he would have to undergo hip surgery (which happened Thursday), but Ramczyk is projected by some to be the second-best offensive tackle in the draft and as high as a top-10 lottery pick.
The Stevens Point native started all 14 games at left tackle, contributing to a line that has allowed the Badgers (11-3) to average 203.1 rushing yards per game, win the Big Ten West Division title and win the 81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic over Western Michigan.
A first-team all-state selection at Stevens Point High School, Ramczyk went to tech school for a year after leaving Winona State after only a week. He regained his passion for football and went to UW-Stevens Point, becoming a two-team All-WIAC selection, including a first-team pick in 2014. In his final year he helped the Pointers rank third in the league in both scoring and total offense.
Feeling he had the ability to play division 1, Ramczyk reached out to head coach Paul Chryst and got the wheels in motion to come to Madison.
It turned out to be a smart decision, as Ramczyk became Wisconsin’s first AP first-team offensive lineman since Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt in 2010.
“The big thing with Ryan, you saw some things that he did naturally, and athleticism that he was blessed with,” offensive coordinator/line coach Joe Rudolph said. “Then it was just teaching the offense. Once you get down the basics, then it becomes a communication and awareness. Those are the areas where’s he’s made the most growth and probably the areas where you continue to grow. He’s seeing more of the game, he’s more confident and more comfortable.
“Obviously I’ve loved how he’s worked all year and I’m excited about him.”
It’s an honor that adds to an impressive list of accolades for Ramczyk, who was named to the Walter Camp All-America second team last week and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection the week before that. He also has been tabbed as a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Sporting News and Pro Football Focus.
“If you study his path that he's been on just to get to this school, it's definitely a lot of work,” senior tailback Corey Clement said. “I can definitely tell why he (was named All-American) because every time I go to his side, it's definitely either a big play or a big chunk of yards.”
Wisconsin has to replace 12 scholarship seniors and junior outside linebacker T.J. Watt next season.null