Wisconsin running back Montee Ball seemed like a good bet to enter the 2012 NFL draft: He had already accomplished plenty in college football after his outstanding junior season ended with trips to the Heisman Trophy ceremonies and the Rose Bowl, and when you’re a running back, you should generally try to get paid while you can, before the game of football has used your body up.
So it was a bit of a surprise today when Ball announced that he will return to Wisconsin next season.
Ball said the NFL draft advisory board gave him a third-round grade, and he was disappointed by that. Ball is hoping that with a great senior season, he can convince NFL teams that he’s a first-round talent.
But if NFL scouts don’t think Ball is a first-round pick after a season in which he led all of college football in rushing yards and tied the NCAA touchdown record, it’s tough to see what he can do in his senior season to change that perception. And considering what a pounding running backs take, the best course of action is usually to get whatever money they can, as soon as they can. Here’s wishing Ball a great senior season that doesn’t leave him regretting this decision.