Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - January 10, 2013

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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LUCAS AT LARGE M I K E LUCA S • UWB A DGERS.C OM Friends help Frederick prep for next step W isconsin center Travis Frederick leaned on some former teammates ― John Moffitt, Bill Nagy, Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler ― while weighing the plusses and minuses of declaring for the NFL draft. "I was able to get a sense of what the process is like and what it takes to get from Point A to Point B,'' said Frederick, who has opted to skip his final year of eligibility with the Badgers. "It was not necessarily information about making the decision, but more about what the NFL is like and what you have to do to put yourself in a position to succeed. "They all said similar things about it being very much a job. Some said stay in school as long as you can and take advantage of what you have here. Some said they really enjoy playing in the NFL. "It was actually good for me to hear both sides: what was good about the NFL or what was bad about it; what was good about staying or what was bad about staying. That factors into your decision.'' His parents and girlfriend played a significant role in the process, too. "They were very supportive either way,'' he said. "And they did a good job of playing devil's advocate, which helped me play out situations in my head.'' Frederick, a computer engineering major from Sharon, Wis., will complete his undergrad degree by taking his remaining credits off campus; a major consideration in his decision-making process. 12 » VARSITY JANUA RY 10, 2013 "I would have certainly come back to school if (the degree) was out of reach,'' said Frederick, who graduated from Big Foot High School at mid-term and enrolled at the UW in January of 2009. His clock has been ticking ever since then. Cognizant that a player has only so much time to capitalize on a football career; only so many snaps in him, why not get compensated? "That's one way of looking at it,'' Frederick said. To this end, Frederick has retained a former Badgers offensive lineman, Joe Panos, as his agent. Panos, a UW icon, also represents Zeitler, a first-round pick of the Bengals in last year's draft. Frederick left this week for Los Angeles, where he will train in advance of the scouting combine. What are the odds that he could wind up playing guard instead of center, like Konz in Atlanta? "That's certainly a possibility,'' Frederick said. "Coach (Bob) Bostad (who's now at Tampa Bay) always said I was going to play guard. I think what helps me is the ability to play both.'' Frederick has refrained from speculating on what round he might be taken. But he pronounced himself ready to play in the NFL thanks to everything that he has experienced at Wisconsin. "I'm ready because of the great support that I've been given,'' he said. "That has made me a better player, and what's best for me now is to take what I can do and use it in the NFL.'' As a youngster, Frederick dreamed about being a professional football player. "But I had a teacher in the fourth or fifth grade that kind of squashed that dream,'' he recalled. "I was told that I would never play football in the NFL. It was the best thing for me. "And it was always something that stuck in the back of my head as I focused on academics and the opportunities seemed to grow and grow. "In high school, I just wanted to play in college. And once I was in college, you start thinking about that dream and hoping that you can perform at a high enough level to get there.'' Throughout this past season, Dan Voltz, a freshman redshirt, was Frederick's understudy. "Dan is a tremendous person and he has grown a lot as a player in the last year,'' Frederick said. He also suggested that if Voltz "takes as big of steps as he did from when he walked in here to where he is now, between now to next season, he's going to be a tremendous player.'' Wherever he lands, Frederick promised that he would take a piece of Wisconsin with him as far as the "relationships that I build through the last four years. It's the people I'm really going to miss.'' These are some of the same people who groomed him to take this next step.

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