Weight: 214 pounds
Position Rank: 4
Drafted By: Denver Broncos (2nd round, 58th overall)
40 Yard Dash: 4.49
Bench Press: 15
Vertical Jump: 32″
Broad Jump: 118″
Scouting Report/Player Notes
Montee Ball will go down in history as one of the greatest running backs to ever play college football, and rightfully so. After breaking Travis Prentice’s record for touchdowns in a career, Ball went on to lead the Wisconsin Badgers to their third straight Big Ten title, and third straight trip to the Rose Bowl even after a down season. His career as a Badger has been truly remarkable. He managed to score 18 touchdowns on the ground as a sophomore and didn’t even lead the team in rushing. He made sure he led the team in rushing as a junior, and also earned the Doak Walker award as the nation’s top running back. His production at Wisconsin was incredible, but he also possesses a great NFL skill set. Ball is a tough runner between the tackles, capable of making people miss in the open field, and is also capable of catching passes out of the backfield. He’s been a workhorse for the Badgers and he could continue to be the same for an NFL team. The thing I love most about Ball is his durability and ability to find the end zone. He has a nose for scoring the football, and a rare ability to do so on a more than regular basis. His wild college success might not translate directly to the pros, but I see no reason why this guy can’t turn out to be one of the top runners in the NFL. Other scouts don’t like him as much as I do, but I think he’s worth a first or second round pick in April.
One of the things you really hope about Ball is that his weight doesn’t balloon all the way up to 240 pounds, or something crazy like that. Wisconsin had John Clay come out this past year prematurely, and it was mainly because their running back group is so good, they basically had no need for him anymore, and his weight had severely fluctuated. Ball reminds me a lot of Shonn Greene coming out, because he plays with such a low center of gravity and the name of his game is power. Ball has tons of skill, and isn’t just a one-trick pony. He led the team with 18 rushing touchdowns in 2010 to go along with 996 yards and a 6.1 yards per carry average. The crazy part is, he was THIRD on the team in rushing in 2010, and is one of four guys at this point in time who could eventually end up in the NFL. Not a speedy running back, but between the tackles he knows how to make plays. One-cut runner with good vision and burst, and has a nose for the end zone. Consensus Honorable Mention All Big Ten in 2010 season, and returns for his junior season atop the running back depth chart after a season where he played in 12 games and started the final four. Missed the Ohio State game, and really caught fire against Purdue with five games left to play. In the previous eight games, he had 219 yards running the ball, and starting with Purdue, he had 127, 167, 173, 178, and 132 yards to finish the season. Not only that, but he had 14 of his 18 touchdowns in those five games, and is well deserving of the starting position this fall, regardless of who is behind him on the depth chart.
I think Motee Ball is the best running back prospect to come out of Wisconsin the past few years. There will always be questions about how quality a Wisconsin running back is because of how dominant the line is up front, but Ball looks like a good one. He’s a very decisive runner, who can really break arm tackles and has deceptive speed. He looks like he can develop into solid receiver out of the backfield too.
Career Highlights (via Wisconsin athletics site)
DID YOU KNOW?
• Montee Ball became the NCAA’s career touchdown leader (83) with a 17-yard run at Penn State on Nov. 24
• Ball tied Barry Sanders’ NCAA record with 39 touchdowns in 2011. That was more TDs than 42 FBS teams had last year
• Ball led the NCAA is rushing yards (1,923) and yards from scrimmage (2,229) in 2011
Honors and Awards
2012: Doak Walker Award winner … Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year … Grange-Griffin Big Ten Championship Game MVP … consensus first-team All-Big Ten … first-team All-American (AP, ESPN, AFCA, Walter Camp Foundation, Pro Football Weekly) … second-team All-American (CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated)
2012 Preseason: Walter Camp Player of the Year watch list … Maxwell Award watch list … Doak Walker Award watch list … First-team preseason All-American (Athlon’s, Blue Ribbon, Lindy’s, Phil Steele) … Preseason Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (Blue Ribbon) … First-team preseason All-Big Ten (Athlon’s, Lindy’s, Blue Ribbon, Phil Steele)
2011: Heisman Trophy finalist … consensus first-team All-American … finalist for Doak Walker Award … Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year … Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year … winner of Chicago Tribune Silver Football … won the Archie Griffin and Jim Brown Awards from the Touchdown Club of Columbus … unanimous, consensus first-team All-Big Ten … won team’s Jimmy Demetral Team MVP
2010: Consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten
Career: NCAA’s career touchdown leader (83) … second in school history and tops among returning rushers in the country with 5,140 career rushing yards … first all-time at UW with 83 career touchdowns and 77 career rushing touchdowns … averaged 5.60 yards per rush, third in UW history … second all-time at UW with 26 career 100-yard rushing games … third in school history with 5,738 career all-purpose yards … second with 924 career rushing attempts … first in school history with 500 points … scored at least one touchdown in 21-straight games (55 total TDs in that span) … became first player in history to run for at least 100 yards in three consecutive Rose Bowls also became first player ever to score TDs in three different Rose Bowl games
Video Highlights (via YouTube)