Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Montee Ball named Badger athlete of the year

No. 1: Montee Ball, junior running back, football
It’s easy to forget that Montee Ball wasn’t the Badgers’ featured back at the beginning of the 2011 season. Heck, more fans probably saw him as a true No. 2 than a true No. 1. To be fair, the lightning-quick James White—reigning Big Ten freshman of the year—was a pretty good bet in August.
But nobody had seen what Ball did in the offseason. Nobody had seen the transformation, the weight lost and the muscle built and the mindset hardened. By the time the Rose Bowl ended late Jan. 2, though, 14 opponents—the whole nation, really—had gotten a pretty good look.
The Wentzville, Mo. native scored touchdowns like his offensive linemen eat dinner: two, three and four helpings at a time.
He scored multiple touchdowns in every game but the Rose Bowl. He finished with 33 on the ground and 39 in total. Since scoring the game-winning touchdown against Iowa Oct. 23, 2010 (19 games), Ball has amassed 2,700 rushing yards and 54 total touchdowns. Yes, that’s 142.1 yards and 2.8 trips to the end zone per contest.
He went from being a third-string option to a Heisman finalist. He went from being a talented guy in a talented backfield to the best in the nation. He went from unknown to  having a legitimate NFL future.
But that will have to wait. He’s coming back for his senior year.  Lets hope next year he can win the heisman trophy.  GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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