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Wisconsin LT Ryan Ramczyk declares for 2017 NFL draft

You can’t blame the All-American for leaving early.

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NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Wisconsin vs Western Michigan Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

[Update: Jan. 10 — updated article to include Ramczyk’s tweet about leaving early along with a link to a story]

It appears another Wisconsin All-American will leave early for a chance to play on Sundays.

The Stevens Point Journal and USA Today-Wisconsin’s Scott Williams reported on Monday night that Wisconsin Badgers left tackle Ryan Ramczyk has informed him that he’ll declare for the NFL draft. Williams reports Ramczyk, a Stevens Point native, informed Badgers head coach Paul Chryst and offensive coordinator/offensive line cach Joe Rudolph of his intentions earlier Monday.

Despite starting just one season for UW, Ramczyk emerged as the team’s best offensive lineman in 2016. He earned consensus first-team All-Big Ten selections, along with consensus All-American honors (first-team nods from the Associated Press,, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News and USA Today; second-team from the Football Writers Association of America and Walter Camp).

From Williams’s story:

"This definitely was a huge decision in my life," said Ramczyk in a phone interview. "I feel really confident about the decision. It's something my parents and I have talked about for countless hours. We weighed the pros and cons and the opportunity was too hard to turn down.

"I'm super excited about this opportunity."

On Tuesday morning, the next great Wisconsin lineman took to Twitter to discuss further:

The Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway reported in late December that Ramczyk received a first-round grade from the NFL Advisory Board. The 6’6, 314-pound offensive lineman also acknowledged to reporters that he had a hip injury that could require surgery.

“I’ve been healthy enough to play all season,” Ramczyk said on Dec. 21. “It’s just kind of a thing that’s annoying, so we’ll see what I got to do after the season.”

Galloway also reported that Ramczyk would undergo surgery last Thursday, which according to a Bob McGinn report would require a four-month recovery period.

That timeframe would put Ramczyk out of contention for testing in the NFL Scouting Combine, Wisconsin’s pro day and possibly working out for teams early in the spring.

However, Ramczyk told Williams that the surgery “went well” and revealed “less cartilage damage than originally thought.”

The first-round grade has shown in early mock drafts for the 2017 NFL draft. Pro Football Focus listed Ramczyk as going to former Badgers Melvin Gordon’s and Derek Watt’s San Diego Chargers at No. 10 in their mock draft last month. projected the former UW-Stevens Point standout to go to Russell Wilson, Tanner McEvoy and the Seattle Seahawks at No. 24 overall. Scouts, Inc. also listed the left tackle at No. 22 overall.

After Wisconsin’s 24-16 win over Western Michigan in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, outside linebacker and fellow All-American T.J. Watt also declared for the draft.

Read Williams’s story as well as the article from’s Andy Baggot for more quotes from Ramczyk.