Tag:Montee Ball
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:33 pm
 

Ball confirms he's returning to Wisconsin

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist, confirmed he is returning to the Badgers after the NFL advisory committee said he's a likely third-round pick if he entered the 2012 draft.

"I believe that I am mentally ready (for the NFL), but I think I need to become stronger and faster and I believe another year in the program will most definitely get me to that level," Ball said. "I do believe that I need to come back for my degree because education is most important and that will give me another year to become a better football player. I believe it's a win-win situation."

Ball's 39 touchdowns in 2011 tied Barry Sanders' single-season FBS record, and he rushed for 1,923 yards. However, the 2012 draft is filling up quickly with intriguing running back prospects, with Ball rated as the sixth-best running back and No. 80-ranked prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com.

Miami's Lamar Miller, Washington's Chris Polk and San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman have already declared they are leaving early for the 2012 draft. Juniors Trent Richardson from Alabama and Virginia Tech's David Wilson could soon follow suit, as could Oregon's LaMichael James, all Top 100 prospects by NFLDraftScout.com along with seniors Doug Martin from Boise State and Isaiah Pead from Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, Peter Konz, the No. 1 center and No. 25 overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, is leaning toward entering the draft, according to a report by the Wisconsin State Journal. Ball will be returning for his senior season, but he could find improving his draft stock difficult minus Konz on the offensive line and quarterback Russell Wilson.

 

 


Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:51 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:36 pm
 

Report: Heisman finalist Ball returning to UW

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist, will return to the Badgers for his senior season, according to a report by the Wisconsin State Journal.

According to the report, the Badgers are looking at Jay Norvell, a co-coordinator at Oklahoma, as a potential replacement for offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who is leaving Wisconsin to become the head coach at Pittsburgh.

 "Lots of speculation out there, leaning one way but just not ready to make an announcement yet, appreciate everyone’s patience," Ball tweeted Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Peter Konz, the No. 1 center and No. 25 overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, is leaning toward entering the draft, according to the State Journal report. 

Ball's 39 touchdowns in 2011 tied Barry Sanders' single-season FBS record, and he rushed for 1,923 yards. However, the 2012 draft is filling up quickly with intriguing running back prospects, with Ball rated as the sixth-best running back and No. 80-ranked prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com.

Miami's Lamar Miller, Washington's Chris Polk and San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman have already declared they are leaving early for the 2012 draft. Juniors Trent Richardson from Alabama and Virginia Tech's David Wilson could soon follow suit, as could Oregon's LaMichael James, all Top 100 prospects by NFLDraftScout.com along with seniors Doug Martin from Boise State and Isaiah Pead from Cincinnati.


Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:20 pm
 

Two mistakes may have cost Mathieu the Heisman

Two years ago I campaigned hard for Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to join former Michigan great Charles Woodson as the only defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy in the modern era.

Considering the fact that LSU sophomore cornerback and punt returner Tyronn Mathieu made plays every bit as dramatic and consistently as Woodson did for the 1997 Wolverines, he too should get strong consideration for the award. Whether it be with his interceptions, fumble recoveries or returns, Mathieu unquestionably had more "Heisman-esque" moments this season than Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson and Montee Ball. Mathieu's chances at the trophy would seem even better with none of the other four finalists having an obvious edge over the others. Like Baylor's Griffin (affectionally called RG3), Mathieu even had the benefit of a spectacular nickname (Honey Badger) to aid in the hype-building that has unfortunately become so important in building a Heisman campaign.

Two critical mistakes, however, will keep Mathieu from winning the award -- an October 21 suspension for using synthetic marijuana and a controversial hit from behind against Alabama cornerback 'Dre Kirkpatrick that some labeled a cheap shot and felt deserved another suspension.

I do believe Mathieu deserves to have been among the finalists for the Heisman Trophy. His exploits on the field and in helping LSU finish the season undefeated and in position to win the BCS Championship in my opinion demanded that he be there.

However, the Heisman Trophy carries with it not only the expectation of athletic supremacy, but playing and carrying oneself with integrity, as well.

As such, for those interested, my Heisman "ballot" would read:

1. Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2. Andrew Luck, Stanford
3. Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
4. Trent Richardson, Alabama
5. Montee Ball, Wisconsin


Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:17 am
 

Heisman finalist Montee Ball eyeing jump to NFL?

Many underclassmen considering the jump to the pros claim they will return to school unless the NFL Advisory Committee gives them a first round grade. 

Wisconsin junior running back Montee Ball, a Heisman finalist who leads the nation with 32 touchdowns and 1,759 rushing yards this season, isn't guaranteeing he'll hold the same standard.

 The AFCA All-American running back was asked by Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel what could he hoped to hear back from scouts.

"Obviously I'd love to hear first round," Ball said. "I'd love to hear even late second. But third or four I'd most likely stay."

That sounds like a back looking to parlay his monstrous junior season into NFL dollars.

The 5-11, 212 pound Ball is clearly helped by a Wisconsin offensive line that may be the best in college football. He's clearly a talented runner, but it is telling that Wisconsin's backup, true sophomore James White, averaged 5.1 yards per carry and rushed for 683 yards and six touchdowns, himself.

Ball is a gliding runner perfectly suited to Wisconsin's offense. He can be quick to the hole and can exploit any crease in the defense, but also demonstrates the patience and vision to take advantage of cutback lanes. He's an alert and capable receiver out of the backfield. What Ball isn't is a powerful back in the mold of former Wisconsin standouts Ron Dayne and John Clay, though he does finish his runs with good forward lean and by keeping his legs churning upon contact. While not a powerhouse, make no mistake, Ball is an NFL-caliber back with quick acceleration, very good lateral agility to elude and enough top-end speed to gain yardage in chunks. His speed or potential lack thereof is one of the concerns scouts have about Ball, however. He's been estimated as a mid 4.5 runner, which is the primary reason why NFLDraftScout.com currently grades him as a 3rd round value.

Should NFL scouts feel similarly, it sounds like Ball will be playing for an NFL team, rather than the Badgers, next season.   
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com