December 4, 2006

Thomas touring awards circuit

As the sixth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers begin preparation for the Capital One Bowl and its recently announced opponent 12th- ranked Arkansas, senior offensive tackle Joe Thomas will be removed from Madison and placed in the national spotlight, taking a tour on college football's awards circuit this week.

For Thomas, the national exposure is nothing new. The American Football Coaches Association recently named Thomas as one of five offensive linemen on its first-team All-America squad, and he also was selected as a first-team All-American by Rivals.com.

Though Thomas' accomplishments and accolades make him one of the most decorated Badgers of all-time, the awards circuit remains a new venture in his collegiate career.

"I don't really know what to expect," Thomas said. "I have never done anything like this before but it will be nice to get there and get out of Madison for a little bit."

Already a finalist for the Outland, an award honoring the nation's best interior lineman, Thomas is also up for the Draddy (best scholar-athlete) and Wuerffel (community service, athletic and academic achievement) trophies this season. A business majors in real estate and urban land economics, Thomas has accumulated a 3.49 grade-point average during his time at UW.

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