The University of Wisconsin football team’s Ryan Ramczyk, Jack Cichy and T.J. Watt earn national recognition Tuesday after being named to Sports Illustrated’s 2016 Midseason All-America Team.
Despite their current top 10 standing, the previously unranked Badgers didn’t boast a single name on either Sports Illustrated’s Preseason All-America first or second teams. But thanks to breakout performances from players like Cichy and Ramczyk, Wisconsin battled its way into the national conversation among the class of the Big Ten.
UW junior inside linebacker Jacky Cichy was one of two Badgers named to the All-America first team defense, and one of five representatives of the Big Ten — some alongside four other familiar Big Ten opponents. Cichy’s efforts alongside teammates such as Watt are the defining attributes of Wisconsin’s 12-best overall defense in the country this season.
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The 6-foot-6, 314-pound tackle Ryan Ramczyk was also named a starter on Sports Illustrated’s first team offense. Despite falling just short of No. 2 Ohio State in Madison last Saturday, Ramczyk and the rest of Wisconsin’s behemoth offensive line helped give the Badgers 236 total yards on the ground and outrush the Buckeyes by more than 50 yards.
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Junior outside linebacker T.J. Watt was the third overall player from Wisconsin who made Sports Illustrated’s Midseason All-America list after he was chosen for the second team defense. While Watt is the only one of the three Badgers to not make a first team, he still leads Wisconsin’s defense with team highs in both tackles for a loss (8) and sacks (5.5) on the season — one and four more than Cichy respectively.
While the Buckeyes lead the way with four members on the mid-season first team, Wisconsin was one of only three schools (University of Michigan and University of Alabama) who claimed a tie for the second-most with two players on the roster.