After reports emerged yesterday that Montee Ball would indeed stay at Wisconsin for his Senior season, we heard right from the source this afternoon as he announced at a press conference that he will stay a Badger in 2012 and not go to the NFL. His reasons were many and it's clear he's on a personal and team mission for the 2012 season.
One of the biggest factors and perhaps his biggest motivation for coming back next year was the fact that he received a 3rd round grade from the NFL draft evaluation process. Montee said, "I believe I'm a lot better than that and will prepare even better in this offseason."
To do that Ball plans on adding about 10 pounds back on his frame to be a bit more powerful, while also staying speedy, even attempt to improve his speed with the extra weight. "What I am looking forward to is getting stronger." said Ball, "I believe I lost a lot of strength (during this past season). I want to become faster."
It's also clear that he's motivated to lead this team to the ultimate success it's missed the past two seasons in the Rose Bowl. "I told the running backs first, but then I told the Seniors sorry we couldn't win one for you, but to the freshman, sophomores, and juniors I will be back to help us win next year." said Ball.
He's also not shying away from the personal side of things either. When asked about being the highest returning vote getter from this seasons Heisman Trophy class he stated, "As a football player, I enjoy personal goals. I look forward to winning the Heisman Trophy if that happens."
All I can say is it's refreshing to see a player putting his team and finishing off a goal before the riches of the NFL. He could've taken 3rd round money and left the university behind, but he made it clear he wants the role of leader on this team.
Perhaps no other statement than the following sums up his thought process the best, "I'm a Badger for life."
While some will say he's dumb for not taking his shot now because he can't possibly have a statistically better year than in 2011, I say he's got bigger, team minded goals that go beyond him putting up 39 TD's again. Pretty sure he'd trade 39 TD's for 20 and a Rose Bowl win any day of the week.
Congratulations to Montee Ball on making a tough decision and showing dedication to his beliefs. It's not an easy thing to do and we look forward to seeing what you and the rest of the 2012 Badgers football team have in store for us.