Knauf Aiming for No. 2 Center

Luke Knauf made a name for himself as an offensive tackle at Stratford High School. But the 6-4, 295-pounder will first try his luck at the center position next fall.

Luke Knauf was considered one of the top offensive tackles in the Midwest during his high school career. But his transition to college football will likely see a position change as well.

Knauf hopes to compete for the No. 2 center position next season. Coach Barry Alvarez told Knauf the team will look for him to earn a spot backing up Donovan Raiola at the center position. Jason Palermo will either compete with Knauf for the spot, or move to a guard position.

"I'm hoping to be the No. 2 center but if it doesn't work out, I'll redshirt, no big deal," Knauf said. "I played tackle all year, but when we went into goal line package or shotgun packages, I was always the center. I played center in about nine of the 12 games."

Knauf said he will do everything he can to crack the two-deep, but he knows there is a lot of work ahead before he's ready to start.

"In some magazine, they said I was Al Johnson-like," Knauf said. "I was going to e-mail them and say, `You can't compare me to Al Johnson. I'm nowhere near what he is.' I was honored by what they said, but you can't compare me like that until I reach that level."

Knauf said he was thrilled on Signing Day, knowing that the best players in-state committed to Wisconsin and there are other top offensive linemen heading in.

"I was going nuts when I read that Joe (Thomas) committed," Knauf said. "I was just amazed. I thought, we're going to have a great year, and we have the potential to build a great thing here, to keep everybody in the state. This is Wisconsin football."

Knauf has already been in touch with a few of his future teammates, and he feels the new Badger offensive linemen are very interested in keeping the traditions of past UW linemen alive.

"I think we're going to have great camaraderie. We'll hang out and we'll do everything together," Knauf said. "I think we'll be like brothers, and hopefully that will carry over to the field. That's how you build a football team. You have to trust everybody enough to be your brother, and I think we can do that."

Badger Nation Top Stories