Wisconsin Football: Biggest Questions Heading into Spring Practice

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Jan 1, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive line and Auburn Tigers defensive line on the line of scrimmage during the first quarter in the 2015 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

It’s odd to not be too worried about the offensive line losing three starters to graduation, but Wisconsin has always been able to field a great group of lineman so it almost doesn’t feel like a position of need.

The Badgers will, in 2015, start three new players on the line as Rob Havenstein, Kyle Costigan and Dallas Lewallen all move on.

Two starters return – left tackle Tyler Marz and Center Dan Voltz – and backup Ray Ball will be around for another spin, as well. Ball saw time in the Big Ten Championship and Outback Bowl when Voltz was injured. Ball is the early favorite to replace Lewallen at left guard

Nov 9, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Dan Voltz (70) during the game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the returners with some experience, Badgers fans should get to know the name Michael Dieter, if they don’t already. Dieter, a redshirt freshman, has some serious talent, and is definitely ready to play. Wisconsin almost resorted to burning his redshirt last season when Voltz was injured. Dieter likely will take Costigan’s spot at right guard.

Replacing Havenstein could be a tougher job. Likely candidates include redshirt sophomore Hayden Biegel and redshirt junior Walker Williams, who were listed as the second string right and left tackles last season.

Wisconsin also has three big offensive linemen recruits coming aboard – Jon Dietzen, Kevin Estes and David Moorman. The Badgers traditionally redshirt offensive line prospects, but the chance is always there for one of those guys to make an early impact and earn some PT.

One thing is for sure, the Badgers have plenty of beef to work with. Wisconsin has nearly 20 linemen on roster (before redshirts are assigned) so competition for 5 starting jobs will be fierce.