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Wisconsin’s Montee Ball won’t enter NFL draft

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio - Wisconsin v Oregon Getty Images

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.

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49 Responses to “Wisconsin’s Montee Ball won’t enter NFL draft”
  1. freebird2011 says: Jan 5, 2012 4:35 PM

    Montee Ball should talk with Lions RB Kevin Smith and ask him how all that extra mileage affected his draft status. While Ball may have been told he had a 3d Rd grade, that could change if his 40 yard dash time turns out better than expected.

  2. johnnyb216 says: Jan 5, 2012 4:36 PM

    Glad to hear this. This guy is a stud. I just hope he improves his draft stock in the process. I wouldn’t have faulted him a bit if he entered the draft after the season he had. Looks like he’s treating this like unfinished business.

  3. tndiver says: Jan 5, 2012 4:36 PM

    Wow that is surprising. Is it a sign of the times for the value of a good running back?

  4. musiccitymiracle says: Jan 5, 2012 4:37 PM

    Just impress in combine. A whole extra year is unwise.

  5. bengalsown says: Jan 5, 2012 4:41 PM

    Sounds like somebody needs some new “advisers”.

    This decision probably hurts his stock even more, as it shows how unintelligent he really is.

    Didn’t the last draft (2011) or (2010) feature ZERO first round RB’s?

  6. buckybadger says: Jan 5, 2012 4:42 PM

    Happy he is coming back but I think he should go. Unless you are a RB with unbelievable measurables or get lucky enough for a coach to take a reach on you going high in the draft isn’t an option at RB. I still think the Saints wasted their pick on Ingram and he is better than Ball. They didn’t need him and he turned out to be just a nice back. GMs simply don’t take these guys high anymore. You can get them later, look where Murray was drafted.

    Ball will surprise people in the NFL. He will never be the fastest or strongest guy in the locker room at his position but his instinct and vision on the field is really far superior than most backs you will find.

    With a very unsettled QB position in Madison next year I think this might be a mistake for Ball’s best interest. Welcome back, hope you stay healthy.

  7. packerfan12 says: Jan 5, 2012 4:44 PM

    So glad he’s coming back to Wisconsin, but I think this guy is being overlooked because of past backs that have been products of the offensive line. I would be leery of him, but he shows good strength and quickness along with a little speed.

    For him I believe it is smart to stay because there are currently three backs for sure that are probably going to go above him: Richardson, Lamar Miller, and Chris Polk. Montee Ball COULD be a late-round gem, but there are too many question marks being a Wisconsin back, along with his current status in the draft.

  8. mvp43 says: Jan 5, 2012 4:45 PM

    Sweet for Wisconsin but………….damn kid, take the cash!

  9. rosloe62 says: Jan 5, 2012 4:47 PM

    That sucks…I would have loved the Rams to have drafted him with their 2nd pick! There’s no way he would have gotten out of the 2nd round. DeMarco Murray went in the third and how many teams now wish they had him.

  10. 122u says: Jan 5, 2012 4:51 PM

    Great News!!
    Too bad we can’t have Russell Wilson another year :(
    GO WISCONSIN

  11. jessethegreat says: Jan 5, 2012 4:54 PM

    bengalsown says:

    This decision probably hurts his stock even more, as it shows how unintelligent he really is.

    Didn’t the last draft (2011) or (2010) feature ZERO first round RB’s?
    ——————————————————–
    CJ Spiller? Ryan Matthews? Jhavid Best? Mark Ingram? If you’re going to talk smack, at least talk correct smack.

  12. mikeeg says: Jan 5, 2012 4:55 PM

    Meh… more Jets melting down articles please?

  13. briang123 says: Jan 5, 2012 4:56 PM

    3rd round for a RB these days isn’t really that bad. How could he really lift up his stock after the season he just had? He should have declared and busted his butt for the combine to put himself in the second round. That is as good as it really gets these days for RBs.

  14. professorcolumbus says: Jan 5, 2012 5:08 PM

    Huge mistake. This is like trying to sell you car, not liking the offer you get and saying “let me drive it around for another year and see if the price goes up…”

  15. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: Jan 5, 2012 5:08 PM

    Terrible decision. Typical Wisconsin resident. While you’re stuck in Wisconsin another year, you might as well buy some non-stock Packer stock too!

  16. kingjoe1 says: Jan 5, 2012 5:09 PM

    you can send a man to college, but you cant teach him smarts.

    QB’s going back is one thing, but a RB, no way. Their careers are very short as it is, adding another year of college ball on your body will cost him greatly. It simply is a ridiculous stupid decisions. Univ of Wisconsin,”were stupid people are groomed”

  17. finsfrenzy says: Jan 5, 2012 5:11 PM

    The smallest guy on his line is 315; Wisconsin has one of the biggest o-line’s in college football. That could be one of the reason’s he’s a “3rd round talent”….he had speed but his line has to be some of the reason for his success.

  18. wryly1 says: Jan 5, 2012 5:14 PM

    He made the right decision, because if a kid isn’t ready to dive in head first and take on the challenge of the NFL, then he most likely won’t be very good in the NFL. All other considerations become secondary.

  19. andyreidisfat says: Jan 5, 2012 5:18 PM

    So normally I am a huge fan of guys who stay in school, but when it comes to running backs, I think they should leave as soon as possible.

    Though in balls case I think the draft board was about right. The guy is just not elite at anything. Now that doesn’t mean he cant be a hofer some day as I think running back is the position where will and hard work can out weight physical talent. Look at emmit smith or more recently Arian foster ( still the strangest name for a black kid).

    But as of now just looking at how he plays and his physical skills I think ball isn’t much more than a really good back up.

    I like him as a person though and perhaps playing another year without the best run blocking college line ever will help him look a little bit better, but truth be told I think he is going back to a team in flux and changing oline to try and raise his stock. I think he might end up hurting it and taking one more year that he gets paid off his career. I also hope he gets another shot at the heisman too because IMO he should have won it this year with the stats he put up, but once again voters were swayed by flashy highlights and not the player who had the best season.

  20. textexington says: Jan 5, 2012 5:18 PM

    Glad to have him back but their just gonna WALKER it up and lose another Rose Bowl:/

  21. NakedCowboy! says: Jan 5, 2012 5:19 PM

    get some more education kid… staying 1 more in college has never hurt anyone… plz dont give an eg of matt lienart… he would have been a bust even if he came out 1 year early…

    take your time and get ready!

  22. emoney826 says: Jan 5, 2012 5:24 PM

    Wisconsins left guard, center, and right tackle, #1 receiver, and quarterback will not be there next year. Those will work against him improving and impressing NFL teams any more than they currently are.

    One more year of lost tread on his tires will only hurt in professionally.

    Gaining a college degree in sociology and probably having to need it in 5-6 years when he’s only 26-27 years old because his NFL career will most likely over is also important.

    I understand both arguments.

  23. buckybadger says: Jan 5, 2012 5:24 PM

    bengalsown says:
    Jan 5, 2012 4:41 PM
    Sounds like somebody needs some new “advisers”.

    This decision probably hurts his stock even more, as it shows how unintelligent he really is.

    Didn’t the last draft (2011) or (2010) feature ZERO first round RB’s?

    ————————

    You do know he didn’t hire these advisers. These are the advisers EVERY players uses.

    You only show how unintelligent you are. Ingram was 1st round last year.

  24. glac1 says: Jan 5, 2012 5:32 PM

    Good for him.

  25. 122u says: Jan 5, 2012 5:34 PM

    finsfrenzy says:
    Jan 5, 2012 5:11 PM
    The smallest guy on his line is 315; Wisconsin has one of the biggest o-line’s in college football. That could be one of the reason’s he’s a “3rd round talent”….he had speed but his line has to be some of the reason for his success.

    I agree Finsfrenzy:
    Wisconsin has a huge line. The Packers have a decent size line with their starters. I’m pretty sure they said around 315. Wisconsin’s line is close to 330 average so that tells you how big they are.
    In the pro’s it might be a totally different ballgame with him being a smaller back.
    A 3rd round pick really isn’t that great considering the short career he could have if things don’t work out or he gets hurt. A college education he will always have and can always fall back on. I think it is wise not to enter the draft and wait until he has his education.

  26. muskyhunter2542 says: Jan 5, 2012 5:47 PM

    I think he is only 19 Touchdowns away from the All Time mark.
    Thats why he is comming back to Wisconsin.

    maybe he wants a Degree as well…

  27. hatesycophants says: Jan 5, 2012 5:47 PM

    Great choice, Montee! Your body, your business.

    On Wisconsin!

    Go Lions!

  28. fittytuckin says: Jan 5, 2012 5:56 PM

    And when you shred your knee, you’ll be an undrafted free agent.

  29. gregm5s7 says: Jan 5, 2012 6:19 PM

    It is just me or did he look like an animal on Monday in the Rose Bowl? This guy is NFL talent, he shouldn’t be caught up on 3rd round vs. 1st round. If his primary reason was to finish school I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

    I’m sure a lot of teams would love to grab him with their second pick

  30. 12greaterthan4 says: Jan 5, 2012 6:26 PM

    All you idiots knocking the kid for returning are, well, Idiots. He may or may not improve his draft status, but he will most certainly get one more year of free schooling, and the best part, a degree that he can use for the rest of his life. One thing that can never be taken away is an education….

  31. cleverbob says: Jan 5, 2012 6:28 PM

    Anything he might possibly do on the field to improve his draft stock would immediately be offset by the fact that he’s one year older. NFL caliber RB’s don’t need seasoning in college. They need to make the jump as early as possible while their legs are still functional.

  32. 12greaterthan4 says: Jan 5, 2012 6:30 PM

    kingjoe1 says: Jan 5, 2012 5:09 PM

    you can send a man to college, but you cant teach him smarts.

    QB’s going back is one thing, but a RB, no way. Their careers are very short as it is, adding another year of college ball on your body will cost him greatly. It simply is a ridiculous stupid decisions. Univ of Wisconsin,”were stupid people are groomed”

    =====================================

    And where did you get your degree??? Probably some tech school… In Minnesota or Michigan…..

  33. edukator4 says: Jan 5, 2012 6:38 PM

    shred your knee in college, outside chance of nfl, but a degree tonfall back on
    shred your knee in 1st year of nfl as a 3 rd round pick and you will be replaced with no degree to fall back on after youve hung on for the duration of your entry level contract.

    tough choice, but cant gamble based on the possibility of shredding your knee

  34. squared80 says: Jan 5, 2012 7:03 PM

    Think of all the guys that held out just one more year. You can count on two hands how many actually improved their draft stock. The rest all dropped, or worse, got hurt.

    You can finish school any other time. Take the opportunity and run with it. RB’s aren’t a high demand 1st round pick like they used to be, unless you have AP talent… which you don’t.

  35. ditka96 says: Jan 5, 2012 7:04 PM

    Without Wilson next year have fun against 11 guys in the box every play Montee.

  36. sf69ers says: Jan 5, 2012 7:06 PM

    Good get a degree and be prepared for life without football.

  37. realitypolice says: Jan 5, 2012 7:07 PM

    Jan 5, 2012 5:47 PM
    I think he is only 19 Touchdowns away from the All Time mark.
    Thats why he is comming back to Wisconsin.

    maybe he wants a Degree as well…
    =============================

    Last I heard, they give college degrees to people who finish the required credits regardless of age.

    The idea that a guy stays in school because he “wants a degree” is ridiculous. You can go back and get your degree any time you want. Lots of people get degrees in their 30′s and 40′s.

    Besides, what’s the point of a degree? To maximize earning potential.

    The way a guaranteed first round pick maximizes his earning potential is to ENTER THE DRAFT.

  38. linemanguy74 says: Jan 5, 2012 7:11 PM

    Very few Wi. running backs make it big time in the NFL

  39. beedubyatoo says: Jan 5, 2012 7:20 PM

    Univ of Wisconsin,”were stupid people are groomed”

    ——————————–

    Hey Mr. Genius. Learn how to spell. It’s “where”, not “were”.

    UW is one of the highest rated research universities in the nation. Apparently you’re from SEC land where education goes to die.

  40. TheDPR says: Jan 5, 2012 7:24 PM

    With a degree perhaps he’ll have a career after the NFL chews him up and spits him out. Without one, well, there’s always reality TV and pawning your own sports memorabilia.

    >”The idea that a guy stays in school because he “wants a degree” is ridiculous. You can go back and get your degree any time you want. Lots of people get degrees in their 30′s and 40′s.

    Besides, what’s the point of a degree? To maximize earning potential.”<

    Right now as a high level athlete his degree is free. After his body is broken and his brain is scrambled, he'd have to pay out of his own pocket to go back and earn his degree.

    Also, for some people education is more than just a mean$ to an end. Some people actually like using their brain and learning new things.

  41. Revolution22 says: Jan 5, 2012 7:41 PM

    “kingjoe1 says:Jan 5, 2012 5:09 PM

    It simply is a ridiculous stupid decisions. Univ of Wisconsin,”were stupid people are groomed””

    LOL! Where are you from?

    Anyway, I really wish he would have pulled the trigger. However, if anything, this could add another year of consistency for Ball. Maybe raise him to a 2nd, and then he can bust his butt at the Combine.

    Shame though. I was hoping the Pack could draft him late 1st or late 2nd, and have THEIR Barry Sanders.

  42. firethorn1001 says: Jan 5, 2012 7:45 PM

    For those saying ‘good, stay and get a degree..’ You do know that if you leave college for a bit, you can come back right?

  43. Eternal Optimist says: Jan 5, 2012 8:14 PM

    All I know is that he was a joy to watch in that bowl game. Myself, I would have liked to have seen the Colts pick him with one of their multiple 2nd round picks that they’re going to get for Luck.

  44. warvette says: Jan 5, 2012 8:31 PM

    running backs are a dime a dozen and have been for a while. that said:
    kingjoe1 says: Jan 5, 2012 5:09 PM

    you can send a man to college, but you cant teach him smarts.

    QB’s going back is one thing, but a RB, no way. Their careers are very short as it is, adding another year of college ball on your body will cost him greatly. It simply is a ridiculous stupid decisions. Univ of Wisconsin,”were stupid people are groomed”

    seriously? i hear ya on your football point, but for cripes sakes, learn how to talk junk. you can’t call other people stupid when you, yourself, are not that smart.

  45. lanzurrah says: Jan 5, 2012 9:50 PM

    Mediocre Big Ten running back….

  46. motownlion says: Jan 5, 2012 9:58 PM

    RE: revolution22,

    There can be only one, Barry Sanders……and he played for Detroit!

  47. 12greaterthan4 says: Jan 5, 2012 10:07 PM

    firethorn1001 says: Jan 5, 2012 7:45 PM

    For those saying ‘good, stay and get a degree..’ You do know that if you leave college for a bit, you can come back right?

    =======================================

    Yeah but then it costs money…. and 25k a semester at UW-Madison is a lot of cash! At least now he wont have to worry about paying for school….. Idiot.

  48. truthserum4u says: Jan 6, 2012 10:17 AM

    @ 12greaterthan4

    An NFL 3rd round pick would earn far more than a he would save by utilizing one more year of his scholarship. In 2008 the average guaranteed money for a 3rd pick was over $600,000. Who knows, Ball may have ended up getting selected in the 2nd round and earn even more.

  49. godofwine330 says: Jan 6, 2012 1:02 PM

    The only way I would have come out if I were him is if I already received my degree in a relevant field (a communications or sociology degree would have me staying in college because the value of those degrees isn’t high in the real world…at least at the bachelor’s degree level).

    As long as he doesn’t get hurt this is a good decision. Get your degree while it’s free.

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