He was born on June 9, 1989 and graduated from Neenah (WI) High. He assumed the starting spot as a redshirt freshman at Wisconsin, starting 9 out of 10 games. He missed 2 games due to blood clots in his lungs. As a sophomore, he started 11 games at center, missing two games due to a sprained ankle. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors that year. As a junior, he started 11 games, missing three due to a dislocated ankle. He would be a Rimington Trophy finalist, given to the nation's top center. He also was a 1st team All-Big Ten and 2nd team All-American honoree. He also made Academic All-Big Ten team for the third consecutive year. He declared early for the 2012 NFL Draft and was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round (55th overall).
Signed by Atlanta Falcons on May 13, 2012.
Signed a four-year contract worth $3.588 million including a $1.049 milliion signing bonus. His deal included $1.60301 million guaranteed.