Travis Frederick: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Wisconsin Center
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The University of Wisconsin football team is known by NFL scouts for developing quality offensive linemen.
From Mike Webster to Joe Thomas, Badgers offensive linemen have made a splash in the pros.
Travis Frederick could be next in line to carry the torch of former Wisconsin blockers who excel at the next level.
Frederick's versatility—he can play guard or center—makes him a valuable commodity on draft day.
Frederick was a three-sport athlete in high school.
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Hometown: Sharon, Wis.
School: University of Wisconsin
Major: Computer Engineering
Year: Redshirt Junior
Frederick was a varsity wrestler and track and field athlete, as well as football standout, while at Big Foot High School. He was a first-team all-state offensive and defensive lineman both his junior and senior years at Big Foot.
The University of Wisconsin running game thrived while Frederick was on blocking.
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2009: In four games Frederick started, Wisconsin's offense averaged 457.5 total yards per game and 177.75 yards rushing per game; the team had a 100-yard rusher three times
2011: 469.9 yards total offense per game, 235.6 rushing yards per game and 10 100-yard rushers; offense allowed 1.79 sacks per game
2012: 393.3 yards total offense per game, 236.4 rushing per game and 16 100-yard rushers; offense allowed two sacks per game
Frederick became the first true freshman to start the season opener when he took the field as center against Northern Illinois. He hurt his ankle in the second game of the season, but came back to play guard in the last regular-season game as well as the team’s Champs Sports Bowl victory over the University of Miami.
He used his redshirt year for the 2010 campaign and entered the 2011 season as the starting left guard, where he earned second-team All-Big Ten status.
Frederick was on the preseason watch list for the Rimington and Outland Trophies, which are awarded to the nation’s best center and interior lineman, respectively. He was the starting center in all 14 games, helping the Badgers to a Rose Bowl appearance.
The Wisconsin offensive line provided holes for 16 100-yard rushers, including four games with more than one 100-yard rusher. Against Indiana, the Badgers racked up 564 yards on the ground. In the Big Ten title game against Nebraska, Melvin Gordon (216 rushing yards), Montee Ball (202) and James White (109) eclipsed the century mark in rushing.
Frederick was named first-team All-Big Ten by the media, honorable mention All-Big Ten by the coaches, as well as the Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Frederick (No. 72) has the ideal size for center or guard.
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Weight: 312 lbs.
Arm Length: 33"
Hand Size: 10"
40-yard dash: 5.58 sec
Bench press: 21 reps
Vertical jump: 28.5”
Broad jump: 97.0”
Three-cone drill: 7.81 sec
20-yard shuttle: 4.76 sec
Pro day results
Only did position drills at his pro day
Frederick’s 5.58 in the 40-yard dash was tied for second-slowest of the 48 offensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he decided not to attempt to get a faster time during his pro day.
The Wisconsin State Journal said Frederick was not concerned with his combine numbers during his pro day:
“I think what’s important is being able to do the drills and show you’re athletic, and your game film and everything like that. Running a slow 40 doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not that good of an offensive lineman, it just means that you don’t run a good 40. ... I certainly don’t run a fast 40.”
Frederick is one of the taller center prospects. Only Illinois' Graham Pocic (6'7") and Clemson's Dalton Freeman (6'5") are taller. His size might make him more suitable as guard.
His 21 reps at 225 lbs. on the bench press is lower than what scouts would like to see, but the Wisconsin program is known for producing solid, tough, strong offensive linemen who do not perform well in the bench press.
All stats via NFL.com
Frederick has a mix of brain and brawn.
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Frederick was a three-time varsity member of his high school football and track-and-field teams and a two-time varsity member of the wrestling program.
He earned honorable all-state honors as a sophomore football player, first-team all-state offensive and defensive lineman as a junior and senior.
He was also a member of the National Honor Society in high school.
He enrolled early at the University of Wisconsin to participate in spring practices.
In a Sports Illustrated article from 2011, Frederick is given some pretty high praise:
He's one of only 100 students at Wisconsin (which has an enrollment of 42,099) with a double major in engineering mechanics and computer science. "Football has just been a vehicle for me to get an education," says Frederick, who is the strongest player on the roster—he recently squatted 750 pounds, only 30 shy of the school record—and may be the most ferocious one-on-one run blocker in the Big Ten.
Frederick is looking to continue the tradition of Badgers excelling in the NFL.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Frederick was a two-time all-state offensive and defensive lineman in high school, where he played offensive tackle.
At Wisconsin he started 18 games at center and started 13 games at left guard.
He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection at center and second-team All-Big Ten while at left guard.
Since 2000, 14 Wisconsin offensive linemen have been selected in the NFL Draft, the most of any program. Of those 14, nine were selected in the first 100 picks. Only USC (10) has more Top 100 linemen in that period.
CBSSports.com says Frederick “[l]acks elite athleticism and has some stiffness in his hips.”
NFL.com says he “moves his feet well to get angles, combo from tackle to linebacker.”
The bottom line is, whichever team selects Frederick is getting a solid, tough offensive lineman capable of starting at either guard or center.