UW's Joe Rudolph proud of the gradual but impressive rise of center Tyler Biadasz, from unknown to All-American

Jeff Potrykus
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz, holding Paul Bunyan's Axe, will likely be playing his final game for the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.

LOS ANGELES – Joe Rudolph has watched with pride the development of Tyler Biadasz, practice by practice, game by game, year by year.

From a talented but raw freshman who redshirted in 2016 to the winner of the Rimington Trophy, given annually to the best center in the nation, four years later.

“I think he's kept developing his confidence,” Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator/line coach said when asked about Biadasz’s path. “And it's not always easy for the center, especially some of the tough looks that you see at times… fronts or pressures. And to be able to get that communicated and sometimes it could be the first time you see it.

“It takes a lot of confidence. It takes the experience of having done it. And I think the biggest thing I saw in him was he always had a steadiness of approach. And I think that's just helped him continue to grow. Never took something that didn't go well for him, never took it to heart and thought (he) couldn't do it.

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“And never thought when he did great that he had it all figured out. Just a steadiness of approach to keep improving. And I think that's why you see him where he is now.”

Where Biadasz was as a senior at Amherst High School? With scholarship offers from UW, Illinois State, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois. 

Where the redshirt junior is now? A consensus All-American from a small school in Wisconsin and likely a high draft pick if he chooses to eschew his final season of eligibility.

Biadasz could have turned pro after the 2018 season but because he wanted to improve his game and hoped to lead UW to a Big Ten title.

UW fell short of that goal, suffering a 34-21 defeat to then-No. 1 Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.

But Biadasz has developed into a stud who is ready for the NFL.

He was freshman All-American and a third-team, all-Big Ten pick in 2017. He was a consensus first-team, all-Big Ten pick last season. He was a consensus first-team, All-American pick this season.

“I think any of our guys or guys that have played in the past, you watch him and you're proud he's wearing the Motion W,” Rudolph said. “You know what I mean?

“The way he approaches stuff, how way he handles himself. Guys I've played with would look and (say): ‘OK, this dude, I like this dude.

“They would say that about him.”

A.J. Taylor’s pain felt by others

UW senior wide receiver A.J. Taylor, who suffered a season-ending broken leg in the regular-season finale at Minnesota, is among several injured players who have made the trip to Los Angeles for the Rose Bowl.

He finished the season with 23 catches for 267 yards and two touchdowns. His final numbers at UW: 89 catches for 1,316 yards and 10 touchdowns in 52 games played.

“It crushes you that he can't play,” Rudolph said. “Love him and what he's been able to do here and his commitment here. And it crushes you.

“But it's just a snapshot of how fleeting the opportunities that you have are. And hopefully someone also appreciates theirs a little bit more because they know how bad he would want to be out there and playing with this group.

“But we love him. We know he's there with us and he's going to be screaming his head off and cheering and helping those guys and coaching them up.

"We wished he was dressed and out there but we're going to need him to be all those other things.”

Here is the beef

Senior linebacker Chris Orr was nominated to serve as carver/server when UW attended the Lawry's Beef Bowl Saturday night.

His dilemma? Who gets the first meal?

"I was going to give it to Mrs. Alvarez," Orr explained, "but I was talking to her before and she said she likes hers cooked a little more. That piece was a little rare. Garrett Rand wanted me to give it to him but I didn’t want the other D-linemen mad at me."

Orr gave the meal to Robin Chryst, the wife of UW's head coach.

"I just gave it to her and nobody could be mad," Orr said.

Buckeyes' loss to Clemson disappoints

Orr acknowledged he was cheering for Ohio State to defeat Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Saturday.

The Buckeyes, who defeated UW twice this season, blew an early 16-0 lead and suffered a 29-23 defeat to the Tigers.

"Of course you always cheer for the Big Ten," Orr said. "Postseason you want the Big Ten to dominate. Unfortunately it didn't turn out their way...

"I honestly had no idea who was going to win that game...I've never really seen Clemson. I of course knew Ohio State and I knew Clemson was a good team, but I just didn't know. No idea."

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