January 08, 2013 | 03:43 PMWALWORTH — Travis Frederick is taking his football talents to the biggest stage of all — the NFL.
The 6-foot-4, 338-pound offensive lineman declared last week he will forego his senior season at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and enter the NFL Draft, which will take place April 25 to 27 in New York City.
The Sharon native and former Big Foot standout started in all 14 games for the 2012 season. Frederick also started 13 games in 2011, 11 at left guard and two at center after Peter Konz got injured.
He was awarded first team All-Big Ten honors from the media and honorable mention selection from the coaches this season.
ESPN's Mel Kiper projects Frederick as the No. 1 junior center in the nation, and he could wind up in the first or second round.
On Friday, Frederick wrote a letter to Wisconsin fans declaring his intention to enter the NFL Draft. He said it was one of the "toughest decisions in my life."
"The decision that I have made has not been easy and I assure you, it has not been made in haste," Frederick wrote in the letter. "This year has taught me to handle adversity and always take life as a learning experience. I have grown as a person through its struggles and triumphs. Because of this, I feel ready to take this step."
Wisconsin finished 8-6 this season and played in its third consecutive Rose Bowl. Frederick was part of an offensive line that helped the Badgers gain 236.4 yards rushing per game, good for 13th in the country.
Frederick follows in the footsteps of current Badger linemen in the NFL, including Gabe Carimi (Chicago Bears), Peter Konz (Atlanta Falcons), John Moffitt (Seattle Seahawks), Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns), Craig Urbik (Buffalo Bills) and Kevin Zeitler (Cincinnati Bengals).
At Big Foot, Frederick was a part of the Chiefs' 2008 state runner-up squad.
In his senior season, he was first team all-state on both the offensive and defensive lines.