Thomas wins Wisconsin's first Outland

Updated: December 7, 2006, 7:37 PM ET
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Wisconsin's Joe Thomas won the Outland Trophy on Thursday night as the best interior lineman in college football.

Thomas is the first Wisconsin player to win the award that dates to 1946. The other finalists were Texas offensive lineman Justin Blalock and West Virginia center Dan Mozes

Thomas, a 313-pound tackle, injured his knee playing defense in Wisconsin's Capital One Bowl victory over Auburn at the end of last season. He returned for his senior year and had another outstanding season, helping the Badgers go 11-1.

Thomas is the fourth consecutive offensive lineman to win the Outland, joining Minnesota's Greg Eslinger (2005), Oklahoma's Jammal Brown ('05) and Iowa's Robert Gallery ('04).

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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