Blog Entry

Montee Ball still undecided on NFL status

Posted on: January 4, 2012 6:45 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi

Montee Ball, the standout Wisconsin tailback who tied Barry Sanders' season mark for most total touchdowns this year with 39, may not be off to the NFL quite yet. Ball, who finished fourth in Heisman voting this year, has not announced his plans for next season, and although he's got a touchdown streak of 20 straight games and rushed for 6.4 yards per carry this season, he's not a lock to go pro.

On Wednesday, Ball took to Twitter to (somewhat) clear the air about his status. "Lots of speculation out there, leaning one way but just not ready to make an announcement yet, appreciate everyone's patience," tweeted Ball.

That's a departure from Ball's earlier plans. Even as of late Tuesday night, Ball had told Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal that his announcement date would be Wednesday.

Ball [NFL draft profile] is currently the sixth-rated running back prospect on draft analyst Rob Rang's Big Board, and the 80th-best prospect overall. That would theoretically place Ball in the middle of the third round of the 2012 NFL draft, but individual NFL teams' valuations of prospects begin to vary widely past the first round, so Ball could end up considerably higher -- or lower -- if he were to declare for the draft.

If Bell were to stay, his monster 2011 season leaves him in prime position to challenge for several NCAA records. He would need 19 total touchdowns to break former Miami University standout Travis Prentice's career recrd of 78 total TDs, and Ball would need 20 rushing touchdowns to top Prentice's mark of 73 career rushing touchdowns. Ball is 11 games with one TD away from breaking Prentice's record of 35 games with scores, and seven multi-score games away from breaking Prentice's mark of 25 games with at least two touchdowns. Yes, Travis Prentice holds basically every major scoring record for running backs in FBS history.

At the same time, the shelf life of tailbacks at the highest levels of football is generally short, and it may not be in Bell's best interests to stay in college and not get an NFL salary while he subjects himself to the wear and tear of being the focal point of a rushing offense for another year. So this is a tough, tough decision on his part, and it's not hard to see why the final call is taking Ball longer than he anticipated.

Will Ball stay or go? Keep up on the latest developments for him and the rest of the Badgers at's Wisconsin RapidReports page, and check out the rest of the news on early NFL draft entrants here.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview 

Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:46 pm

Montee Ball still undecided on NFL status

After watching this manchild run through the MSU and Oregon defenses, he is a cant miss NFL RB. An exciting runner with power and agility. Begone young man you are ready...

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:33 pm

Montee Ball still undecided on NFL status

Being a Badger fan, it hurts me to say this, but GO TO THE NFL! You are 1 knee injury away from never being drafted. As much as I would like to see you breaking records for the Badgers, the smart play is to go into the draft. Everybody is predicting you to go in the 2nd round. With the way the NFL is ignoring the running game, the 2nd round may soon be the high water mark for all running backs not named Peterson.
You go to college to set yourself up with a good paying job. Being a starting RB in the NFL is a great paying job. Although it won't be a long career, it should be very profitable for someone of your stature. You can always go back for your degree.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:04 pm

Montee Ball still undecided on NFL status

You had better stay in college buddy. I am a big Badger fan of course living here just north of Madison but look at every other running back to ever come out of Wisconsin, most of which had better numbers than Ball. John Clay is the only current Badger running back in the NFL and he is only in the NFL due to the injury suffered by Rashard Mendenhall. I doubt he will make it off the practice squad next year barring another injury. Ron Dayne was the most prolific runner ever in the Badger state,Dayne's career rushing total remains an NCAA record. When yardage from bowl games is included, (under the current NCAA rules, a running back attempting to break Dayne's record would play twelve games each season and be allowed to count yards gained in any conference championship games or any bowl game in the official totals) he amassed 7,125 yards. He shares the record for most 200-yard rushing games with Ricky Williams and Marcus Allen, with twelve. He also holds the Big Ten Conference rushing and total touchdowns record, with 71, and is one of five players in NCAA history to rush for over a thousand yards in each of his four seasons.Dayne was selected with the 11th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He lasted eight years in the NFL an amassed an amazing 3,722 yards rushing with 28 touchdowns. I strongly suggest staying in Wisconsin finishing your education at UW and have a backup plan for your life besides the NFL because even if you make it the odds are not in your favor, I am not trying to be a hater and wish you luck in life whatever your decision maybe.

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2012 9:50 pm

Montee Ball still undecided on NFL status

Even as a huge Badger fan I agree. The rules are different. Ball is a terrific back but no Barry Sanders (yet).

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2012 9:20 pm

Montee Ball still undecided on NFL status

To set the record straight, Ball tied in 14 games the record set by Barry Sanders set in 11.  To me, that is not really tying Sanders record.  Back in 1988 they played fewer games and did not include the Holiday bowl game the Cowboys played in.  Sanders had 222 yards rushing and 5 TDs in the Holiday Bowl.  Yes 5 TDs in his bowl game.  So again for the record

Ball in 14 games 39 TDs.  
Sanders in 12 games 44 TDs.  

There is absolutely no comparing Montee Ball to Barry Sanders.  Not even close.  


Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2012 7:58 pm

Montee Ball still undecided on NFL status

Montae Ball is a good college RB, not a great RB. I keep hearing Wisconsin fans talk about his stats, while his numbers are great there are other factors to consider, opposing defenses are not focusing their game plans on stopping just him. opposing defenses are having to focus on Ball and Wilson in the passing game as well as his running ability. If Ball comes back it will be without Wilson, Toon, or several key OL men, defenses will be able to focus their gameplans on stopping just him, his numbers next year will not be anywhere close to this years. 

Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: January 4, 2012 6:53 pm

Montee Ball still undecided on NFL status

I hope he stays. He is a great character guy and a great runner.
His only problem is that he plays for the most overrated coach in all of college football.
Bielma is a Clown!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or