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Wisconsin’s starting center, Joe Tippman came to UW as a highly regarded four-star offensive tackle from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Tippmann was the third highest rated recruit in the 2019 class, behind only top 100 prospects Graham Mertz and Logan Brown.
He was viewed as a big/athletic mauler capable of playing either tackle spot, but also possessing the versatility to move inside and play guard if necessary.
That’s why it came as a surprise when Joe Rudolph moved the programs biggest lineman (6-foot-6, 320 lbs) to center – a position in which he had never played.
As fall camp progressed, we began to hear Joe Tippmann’s name mentioned on a more frequent basis. The flashes the coaching staff had previously seen were now turning into consistent play on the field.
By the end of fall camp, Joe Tippmann had supplanted the incumbent starting center Kayden Lyles – and would go on to hold the starting job all season long.
During the regular season, Tippmann showed impressive growth and made him adjustment to his new position appear seamless. By the end of the year, Tippmann was playing like a seasoned vet, and was one of the anchors of the Badgers offensive line.
Per PFF, Tippmann finished the season as Wisconsin’s second highest graded offensive lineman (85.1). Tippmann also finished with the second best run blocking grade (85.0) and best pass blocking grade on the team (76.7).
It’s also worth mentioning that Joe Tippmann was the sixth highest graded starting center in the entire country, per PFF.
In 687 snaps at center, Tippmann allowed just four pressures and didn’t allow a single sack all season.
That’s why he earned honorable mention All-Big Ten from both the media and the coaches.
Let’s goooo 😤
Congratulations fellas! pic.twitter.com/PCeY09Xmit
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 1, 2021
It was an impressive first season as a starter for Tippman, whose best playing days at Wisconsin are still ahead of him.