Michael Deiter’s efforts down the stretch of his first season on the field have earned the Wisconsin sophomore some recognition in advance of his second.
Deiter was named Wednesday to the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding center.
Deiter is one of just 12 underclassmen named to the watch list and is one of eight Big Ten players to earn preseason recognition.
A native of Curtice, Ohio, Deiter started all 13 games for the Badgers as a redshirt freshman in 2015 and quickly became an anchor of UW’s offensive line. He made seven starts at left guard and another six at center — including in each of the Badgers’ final five games after veteran center Dan Voltz was lost to injury.
Deiter earned All-Big Ten honorable mention from the league’s media members and also was named to ESPN.com’s Big Ten All-Freshman team.
Though the Badgers battled injuries across the offensive line last season — they used seven different starting combinations — three of the team’s four best rushing performances came with Deiter at center. That included a 257-yard, four-touchdown effort against rival Minnesota to close the regular season. UW also recorded 209 rushing yards and five touchdowns vs. Rutgers and plowed up 177 rushing yards en route to a win over USC in the Holiday Bowl.
Through the air, the Badgers averaged 228.3 passing yards per game, the third-best mark in school history.
The Rimington Trophy is named for former Nebraska center Dave Rimington, who twice won the Outland Trophy and was a two-time All-America selection in 1981 and 1982.
Finalists for this year’s edition of the Rimington Trophy will be named on Dec. 5. The winner will be announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 8.