Not many players could lose 53 pounds and still weigh in at 327 pounds. Meet Wisconsin junior offensive tackle Rob Havenstein.
Wisconsin is known for producing big offensive linemen, but Havenstein, who is 6-feet-8, qualifies as mammoth. This will be his second season as the starter at right tackle, and he is one of three returning starters along the line for the Badgers, joining guard Kyle Costigan and left tackle Ryan Groy.
Havenstein's twin, Jeff, plays basketball at Division I Longwood; he also is 6-8 -- but weighs just 225. Rob Havenstein arrived in Madison weighing 380 pounds. He played at around 342 last season and weighed in at 338 during spring practice.
The weight loss wasn't always easy. "The biggest thing with me was my diet, when to eat, when not to eat," Havenstein told the Wisconsin State Journal. "The 11:30 [p.m.] snack, no matter what it is, is definitely not good for you."
Not surprising considering his size, Havenstein can be a devastating run blocker. New offensive line coach T.J. Woods, who came with coach Gary Andersen from Utah State, wants Havenstein to become more consistent as a run blocker. Woods also is looking for better pass protection.
"There is room for improvement in pass protection," Woods told the State Journal. "As a tackle that's one of your main responsibilities, if not your main responsibility. ... He's progressing that way, he's lost some weight, moving better."
Havenstein, who played lacrosse as well as football and basketball in high school in the Baltimore area, says speed rushers give him problems. He has been working on getting set quicker and on honing his footwork.
"Obviously, as big as I am, people are going to test me with speed," he told the State Journal.
Wisconsin has had seven offensive linemen taken in the past three drafts, and Havenstein has the size and potential to eventually play in the NFL.
"Everyone's striving to be good," Havenstein told the State Journal. "It's only a few who actually become great."