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Wisconsin football: C Dan Voltz named to Rimington Trophy watch list

Another watch list, another Badger honored.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight year, the Rimington Trophy fall watch list includes junior center Dan Voltz.

The Wisconsin Badgers offensive linemen was named to the prestigious watch list for the award given to the nation's top center on Wednesday.

The 6'3, 311-pound linemen will help anchor a younger and less experienced Wisconsin offensive line in 2015 with replacing three starters. In 2014, Voltz was named second-team All-Big Ten by the media and honorable mention all-conference by the coaches as he was part of a line that helped junior running back Melvin Gordon rush for nearly 2,600 yards and almost broke an FBS single-season rushing record.

Past Badgers who received the honor of being named on the Rimington Trophy watch list include John Moffitt, Peter Konz and Travis Frederick.

Here's the official statement from the Wisconsin athletic department:

Voltz on Rimington Trophy watch list
Junior eyed for top honor for second-consecutive year

July 8, 2015

• On the Web:

MADISON, Wis. - Quick as a snap, Dan Voltz is back in consideration for the honor of the nation's top center.

The Wisconsin junior was named to the fall watch list for the Rimington Trophy on Wednesday, giving him preseason consideration for the award for the second-consecutive year. Voltz was previously named to the Rimington's spring watch list in May. He is one of 18 returning centers that were featured on last season's watch list, including 2014 finalist Jack Allen of Michigan State.

Voltz is one of 63 players included on the list of candidates for the award presented annually to the best center in college football, which includes six from Big Ten Conference schools.

The Barrington, Illinois, native started all 14 games at center for Wisconsin last season and helped the Badgers post a school-record rushing performance that saw UW average 320.1 yards per game to rank No. 3 nationally.

Wisconsin averaged 6.91 yards per carry, the fourth-best mark in FBS history, and posted the nation's two most prolific rushing performances of the season by tallying a school-record 644 yards vs. Bowling Green on Sept. 20 and 581 yards vs. Nebraska on Nov. 15.

Voltz was part of the offensive line that led the way for Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon to pile up 2,587 rushing yards -- second-most in FBS history -- and a total of 32 touchdowns.

Gordon and fellow running back Corey Clement combined to cover 3,536 yards, smashing the FBS single-season record for rushing yards by a pair of teammates -- which Gordon and then-teammate James White set at 3,053 just a year earlier.

Overall, Wisconsin's offense averaged 468.9 total yards per game last season, the third-highest total in program history. UW's line also allowed just 13 quarterback sacks in 14 games.

Voltz gives the Badgers a preseason candidate for the Rimington Trophy for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. He joins John Moffitt (2009), Peter Konz (2010, 2011) and Travis Frederick (2012) -- each went on to become NFL draft picks -- as preseason honorees in that timeframe.

Al Johnson, who achieved the distinction in 2002, is the Badgers' only Rimington Trophy finalist.

Dave Rimington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.

The Rimington Trophy uses the All-America teams named by the Walter Camp Foundation, Sporting News and Football Writers Association of America to determine the recipient of the award. As the season progresses, the committee will continue to watch all players in contingence and will announce its finalists on Dec. 7. The winner will be recognized at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Jan. 16, 2016.

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