It was a striking scene Tuesday night when offensive players and assistant coaches for the University of Wisconsin football team were available for post-practice interviews.

Yes, senior quarterback Scott Tolzien was in demand. So were the tailbacks -- sophomore Montee Ball, junior John Clay and sophomore James White -- and offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. Ditto for tight end Lance Kendricks and wide receivers Nick Toon and David Gilreath.

But clearly the guys most in demand were the linemen. One minute they were being pulled together for a group photo. The next saw sophomore center Peter Konz doing a long telephone interview, senior left tackle Gabe Carimi and senior left guard John Moffitt in front of TV cameras and reporters waiting to talk with junior right guard Kevin Zeitler, sophomore right tackle Ricky Wagner and senior jack-of-all-trades Bill Nagy.

Some of that has to do with the individual honors these guys have received and offensive success the Badgers have had en route to the Rose Bowl. Part, too, is the fact that just about every one of those guys is a thoughtful, entertaining conversationalist.

Still, it's hard to imagine many college football programs in the nation where the offensive linemen get this much attention. When that was pointed out to Tolzien, he smiled.

"It really is special,'' he said. "It's pretty cool. Those guys, I can't say enough (about) how they've worked as a group in the weight room, in the film room, on the practice field. It's truly well deserved.

"That's what's cool. We might be the only offensive line in the country that gets that notoriety. The weird thing about it is those guys don't want any of the credit. They don't want any of the spotlight, but they deserve it. They've worked hard to get where they are and that's why I think everyone appreciates them so much.''


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