December 9, 2008

Ball getting ready for Badger official

Four-star running back Montee Ball is getting ready to take his official visit to Madison this coming weekend with a host of other Badger 2009 verbals. The lone back in Wisconsin's current recruiting class, Ball recently set a Missouri state record in rushing yards during his final prep season at Timberland High School.

The following is a question and answer with the 5-foot-11, 205-pound back:

It's been awhile since we've caught up with you, could you talk a little about your senior season?

Ball: We lost a little bit earlier in the post-season than most of us thought. I'd say we accomplished a lot of great things for our school. With that being said, we had a lot of great guys on the team and we all worked very hard. I was able to become the states all time leading rusher. We look at that as more of a team accomplishment. With out my teammates, I wouldn't have been able to achieve that goal.

You're the state of Missouri's all-time leader rusher (over 6,500 yards). Has that sunk in yet?

Ball: No, not really. It probably won't sink in until I open up a book down the road and see my name. It's kind of hard to think about that right now because I'm still trying to get over our loss in the playoffs. Obviously I'm pretty excited about it, but it won't sink in until I actually see my name in a book.

To recap, could you look back on the recruiting process and tell us why you chose the University of Wisconsin?

Ball: Well, like now, the coaches come to my house and we don't just talk, we bond. It seems like I've known them for my whole life. I want to be taught by a running back coach (John Settle) who's been through it all; someone who's been to the pros. It was just the perfect fit for me. I have a feeling I can do very well there.

How is your relationship with your recruiting coach, Dave Doeren?

Ball: Oh, man, he's a great guy. He was actually here last week. It's great to have such a good relationship with someone on that staff. It will make the transition much easier knowing Coach Doeren so well. I actually expect him back sometime next week.

Wisconsin is known for producing good running backs. Currently they have a couple young backs on the roster, all of which have had some early success. Is competition something that can bring out the best in you?

Ball: Yeah, definitely. Why would a high school running back pick a school in which the backs don't have a lot of success? That right there is a great sign and made my choice easier. Like I said before, Wisconsin was a perfect fit for me.

Could you preview your weekend for us? A lot of commits will be in town for their official visit, including you.

Ball: I'm really looking forward to meeting all the other recruits. Also, I really can wait to speak with some of the seniors on the team. I hope to see the town a little more. I want to get a better feel for the whole city of Madison.

Of the current commitments, four of them will be graduating early. Was that something you put some thought in to?

Ball: No not really. I spoke with my mom about it briefly, but you only go through high school once. I actually wanted to stay in town with my friends and enjoy the rest of my senior year.

You have a video on YouTube, which tapes you working out during the off-season. Do you attribute your success to the hard work put in off the field?

Ball: Most definitely. I was taught that you make your biggest strides during the off-season. I also continued to train during the season as well. But yes, I contribute a lot of my success to my off-season strength program. I've attended Acceleration in Chesterfield (Missouri) for the last two years.

This is a tough question, but could you describe your running style?

Ball: I would say my vision. My vision kind of sets me apart. I've been told, quote, "It's like tackling a grown man." Yeah, I'd say strength is another big part of my game. Again, I attribute that to my hard work at Acceleration. But yeah, my vision and my strength.

Any thoughts on the bowl match-up against Florida State?

Ball: I think it's going to be a really good match-up. I know Wisconsin has a great bowl tradition and I expect them to play really well. The Badgers have a really good bowl appearance streak going and I'm excited to be part of that. I honestly think they are going win.


To hear what Ball had to say about four-star prospect Kraig Appleton, follow the link to the Badgers' Den

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