During an early break in the Northwestern-Wisconsin men’s basketball game Wednesday night, Teddy Greenstein, of the Chicago Tribune, presented Badgers star running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball with the Silver Football, awarded annually to the Big Ten’s MVP. Ball is the eighth Badger to win the prestigious award, voted on by the league’s coaches, and the first since Ron Dayne (1999). The junior running back totaled 2,229 yards, including a nation’s best 1,923 on the ground, and a Big Ten record 39 touchdowns. Watch the entire presentation now.
College football players had until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 26 and continues through Saturday, April 28 (get more info at NFL.com). The Big Ten saw five players (Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy and Edwin Baker and Wisconsin’s Peter Konz) opt for the pros, so here’s my quick look at each one along with some handy links.
The NFL Combine will run from Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis. It will be the chance for college players to work out and impress NFL executives in anticipation of the draft from April 26-28. The official list of Combine invitees has yet to be released by the NFL, but CBSSports.com has a list of 231 players who reportedly have received initial invites. This initial list includes seniors only and more players are expected to be invited in coming weeks.
(FightingIllini.com) University of Illinois head coach Tim Beckman announced the transfer of sophomore fullback Jay Prosch to Auburn on Wednesday, a move that will allow Prosch to be closer to his family in the Mobile, Ala., area, including his ailing mother. Prosch was named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly on Dec. 12 and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree this year. Watch our touching feature on Prosch and his mother now and read the rest of the release in this post.
BTN took you on a tour of the Ohio State football coach’s football office last week, and the tour guide was no other than new Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer himself. Meyer gave BTN’s Gerry DiNardo an up close and personal look during DiNardo’s visit to Columbus (watch that full tour in the video clip in this post). Right now, check out DiNardo’s one-on-one interview with the new Ohio State head coach.
(UWBadgers.com) – Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema took another step toward completing his coaching staff by naming Matt Canada as the Badgers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Tuesday. Canada spent last season in the same role at Northern Illinois, helping the Huskies to an 11-3 record, a MAC championship and a victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
University of Iowa football player A.J. Derby has asked for a release from his football scholarship and will transfer from the University of Iowa. The announcement came Monday from Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.