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Former Wisconsin tailback Montee Ball on ballot for 2025 College Football Hall of Fame class

MADISON – More than a decade after he played his final football game at Wisconsin, Montee Ball still holds several prestigious program records.

Ball, whose last college game was the 2013 Rose Bowl, is UW’s leader in all-time touchdowns (83), touchdowns in a season (39), all-time rushing touchdowns (77), rushing touchdowns in a season (33), points in a season (236) and all-time points (500).

His rushing total of 5,140 yards from 2009-12 is the No. 3 mark in program history, behind only Ron Dayne (7,125) and Jonathan Taylor (6,174).

On Monday, Ball was among 77 players on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame’s 2025 class.

The 2025 class will be announced sometime early next year. It will be officially inducted on Dec. 9, 2025, in Las Vegas, during the 67th National Football Foundation annual awards dinner.

Ball was also nominated for the 2024 class.

Montee Ball struggled early at Wisconsin before blossoming

Ball, 33, was not an immediate star when he arrived at UW in 2009 from Timberland High School in Missouri.

He played in only nine games that season and finished with 391 yards and four touchdowns. John Clay led the team in rushing with 1,517 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Ball was buried on the depth chart early in the 2010 season, behind Clay and freshman James White.

After not getting a carry in UW’s 31-18 victory over No. 1 Ohio State on Oct. 16, Ball contemplated asking to switch positions.

However, he stayed at tailback and got his chance when Clay and White suffered injuries the next week at Iowa.

He caught five passes for 41 yards and scored the decisive touchdown on an 8-yard run with 1 minute 6 seconds left in UW's 31-30 victory.

That trio finished the season with a combined 3,060 rushing yards and 46 rushing touchdowns.

Clay led the way with 1,052 yards and 14 touchdowns. White added 1,012 yards and 14 touchdowns and Ball finished with 996 yards and 18 touchdowns.

With Russell Wilson at quarterback in 2011, Montee Ball became an All-American

Clay decided to turn pro after that season and Ball slimmed down and got much quicker in the offseason. That allowed him to take over the starting position, ahead of White, in 2011.

With Russell Wilson taking over at quarterback after transferring from North Carolina State, Ball put together a remarkable season in 2011.

The junior rushed 307 times for 1,923 yards, a 6.3-yard average, and 33 touchdowns. He added 24 receptions for 306 yards, a 12.8-yard average, and six touchdowns, and completed 2 of 2 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.

He tied Barry Sanders’ FBS record for touchdowns in a season with 39, was a consensus first-team All-American and a Heisman Trophy finalist.

UW’s offensive line struggled early in 2012, which led to head coach Bret Bielema firing line coach Mike Markuson after just two games. Graduate assistant Bart Miller replaced Markuson, re-tooled the line and Ball finished with 1,830 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns.

He won the Doak Walker Award (nation’s best running back) and was again a consensus first-team All-American.

Ball rushed 21 times for 202 yards and three touchdowns in UW's 70-31 victory over Nebraska in the 2012 Big Ten title game and added 100 yards and a touchdown in 24 carries in his final college game, a 20-14 loss to Stanford in the 2013 Rose Bowl.

He was inducted in the UW Hall of Fame in 2023.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ex-Wisconsin star Montee Ball a College Football Hall of Fame nominee