At least one of the University of Wisconsin’s All-American offensive linemen will be returning next year.
Right tackle David Edwards said Saturday he intends to remain with the Badgers for his junior season rather than seeking advisement about the possibility of entering the NFL Draft.
Edwards redshirted his first year at UW, making him eligible to enter the draft after his sophomore season.
“I haven’t really thought much about it,” Edwards said. “It’s never really an issue with me."
Edwards, who switched to tackle from tight end prior to last season, enjoyed a breakout year in 2017 and earned All-American honors from four of the five outlets recognized by the NCAA, including a first-team selection by the American Football Coaches Association.
Junior left tackle Michael Deiter and junior right guard Beau Benzschawel both said they have submitted paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Board to receive feedback before making a final decision on whether they will forgo their final year of eligibility with UW.
Benzschawel, a three-year starter who earned third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press, said he would need to be projected as an “early-round” pick to seriously consider leaving.
“It’d (have to) be early, that’s for sure,” Benzschawel said.
Deiter, a second-team All-American selection by Sporting News, projects as an interior lineman at the next level.
He started 27 games at center or guard for the Badgers over the 2015 and 2016 seasons before switching to tackle this year.
"I’m not going into (the decision process) thinking I need this or that (to leave),” Deiter said. "I’m just trying to get all the information I possibly can and then make a decision from there."
Two junior defensive players — inside linebacker T.J. Edwards and cornerback Nick Nelson — are also candidates to leave UW a year early for the NFL, although neither have announced a decision yet.
Like David Edwards, T.J. Edwards earned a spot on four of the five official All-American teams this month, including first-team honors from the AP.
Nelson, in his first year on the field for the Badgers after transferring from Hawaii, broke a school record with 20 pass breakups.
Four UW players accept East-West Shrine Game invites
The East-West Shrine Game announced through Twitter on Saturday that three UW players — safety Natrell Jamerson and defensive ends Alec James and Conor Sheehy — have accepted invites to play in the postseason All-Star game.
Outside linebacker Leon Jacobs also accepted an invitation to play in the game last week.
The game is set for a 2 p.m. kickoff on Jan. 20 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised by the NFL Network.