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Monday, August 15, 2011
Big Ten rankings: No. 11, Montee Ball

By Adam Rittenberg

The Big Ten preseason player rankings, based on past performance and potential impact for the 2011 season, march on with ...

No. 11: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin, Jr., 5-11, 210

Wisconsin's Montee Ball
No running back was hotter in the second half of last season than Wisconsin's Montee Ball.
2010 numbers: Appeared in 12 games last season, starting the final four; led the Big Ten with 18 rushing touchdowns and racked up 996 yards on 163 attempts (6.1 ypc); finished eighth in the league in rushing average (83 ypg); caught 16 passes for 128 yards.

Why he's here: Arguably no running back in the country ended last season hotter than Ball, who rushed for 777 yards and 14 touchdowns in his final five games. His late-season surge following John Clay's injury caused many Badgers fans to want Ball as their featured back ahead of reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year James White, who electrified Wisconsin's rushing attack with his speed. After slipping behind White in the preseason, Ball rededicated himself and seized an opportunity to contribute when it presented itself against Iowa. He slimmed down during the offseason in an effort to boost his speed, but he still runs with good power. If he carries over the momentum into the fall, he should get a larger chunk of the carries for one of the nation's top rushing attacks.

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