Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012

Reportedly Ball to return to UW for senior season

By Nicole
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With reports that Montee Ball would be the sixth-ranked running back and 80th overall in the NFL draft (meaning a mid-third round pick), he has reportedly told people within the football program in Madison that he will return to Wisconsin for his senior season.

The Wisconsin State Journal/Madison.com says they have a source with that information.

Yesterday, it was said Ball would hold a press conference today, but that report was apparently premature. Another Badger coach left the team today to coach with former OC Paul Chryst at Pitt and there's speculation that is the reason the press conference for Ball wasn't held today.

For his part, Ball said on Twitter today "lots of speculation out there, leaning one way but just not ready to make an announcement yet, appreciate everyone's patience."

Apparently there's an opinion in the NFL that you don't draft running backs highly. There apparenlty just isn't enough difference between the top to middle guys, so its not worth using a high pick on them.

We've also talked before about the warning that John Clay's story gives for players thinking about potentially leaving early. You have to believe that story weighs heavy in the back of Ball's mind.

Finishing in the top 5 for Heisman voting has to put Ball as an early front-runner for the award for next season.

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On the coaching front, linebackers coach Dave Huxtable and wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander are both going to Pitt with Chryst, meaning that so far, four of Bielema's nine full-time assistants have departed the program.

Is there a point where we have to question why so many of these guys are ready to leave Bielema to follow Chryst to what is, ostensibly, a lesser program? This raises serious questions about whether or not these guys disliked Bielema, doesn't it?

Clearly, they like Chryst better than they do Bielema. I wonder what impact Chryst has had on hiring prior to this? Were guys willing to come to Wisconsin because they knew they'd have Chryst between themselves and Bielema?

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