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Colts select Bortolini in the fourth round

Bortolini, No. 63
Kewaunee native Tanor Bortolini, pictured as No. 63 for the WIsconsin Badgers, was drafted to the Indianapolis Colts, during the 2024 NFL Draft held April 25-27 in Detroit Michigan. WIsconsin Badgers photo

By Kris Leonhardt


KEWAUNEE — Kewaunee native Tanor Bortolini was drafted to the Indianapolis Colts, during the 2024 NFL Draft held April 25-27 in Detroit Michigan.

The former Wisconsin Badger went in the fourth round and was the 117th pick.

He played nearly 2,000 career snaps with the Badgers — 1,058 at center and more than 600 at guard.

During the 2023 college season, Bortolini allowed just one sack.

Bortolini said that he was with his immediate family and friends Thursday, as he was selected in the fourth round.

“So, just celebrate with them right now and then we have a little thing set up for later where I get to kind of thank everyone that’s been a part of it. You know, I come from a really small town so there’s a lot of people that really helped along the way, so I want to make sure I can say thank you to them all. But for right now, just immediate family and I’ll see everyone tonight and celebrate with them,” Bortolini told the media after his selection.

What will Bortolini be for the Colts?

“Whatever they need me to be,” he said.


“I feel like anywhere on the interior, I’m very capable playing and playing at a high level. Whatever they see for the long-term plan for me, I’m more than excited to be a part of and I think I can really be a guy that finds a lot of long-term success and can really solidify myself in one of those starting jobs that I can do it and do it at a high level.”

Bortolini said that experience is the key to succeeding.

“(When you) get that kind of experience you get a better understanding of what the guy to your right and left needs from you and what you need to do for them to put them in a position to succeed,” he said.

“I feel very confident, obviously playing center this past season I’m the most used to, but I don’t feel like I couldn’t flip in a heartbeat to either one of those spots.”

Bortolini is a Kewaunee High School graduate.

As a freshman, he started at left tackle and played defensive tackle the next three seasons.

Bortolini was also a starter on the school’s basketball team and on the track team where he went to state for shot put.

“Playing small school football, I think allowed me to get a lot of, you know, athleticism — coordination-wise. So, I felt comfortable flipping stances, and it’s obviously something you have to get used to, but something I felt like, the older I got, the more comfortable. I felt going back and forth, it’s a little different; obviously, there’s little ins and outs to each one, but the more I did it, the more confident I felt in that ability. And I think it’s something that is really going to prove valuable at the next level.”

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