Ball staying and Konz going from UWWisconsin Sports
-- University of Wisconsin center Peter Konz will reportedly give up his senior year at Madison, and enter the NFL Draft in April. An official announcement has not been made, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said a UW source confirmed Konz’s decision. The news comes one day after Wisconsin running back Montee Ball said he would return for his senior year.
MADISON - University of Wisconsin center Peter Konz will reportedly give up his senior year at Madison, and enter the NFL Draft in April. An official announcement has not been made, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said a UW source confirmed Konz’s decision. The news comes one day after Wisconsin running back Montee Ball said he would return for his senior year.
Konz is the third offensive line starter to leave the Badgers. Guard Kevin Zeitler and tackle Josh Oglesby are both seniors, and they played their final collegiate games in last Monday’s Rose Bowl. Travis Frederick and Ryan Groy are among the potential replacements for Konz next season. Both will be juniors.
Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball said yesterday he’ll return to UW-Madison for his senior year. The Badgers’ running back told a news conference his decision was based on what’s best for himself and his family. Ball said the NFL projected him as a third-round draft choice in April – and he was disappointed by that. But he also said his teammates and coaches at the UW helped inspire him to return. And despite the loss of senior quarterback Russell Wilson, Ball said he was confident the Badgers would be better than this year – when they went 11-3 and lost to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
Ball led the nation with over 1,932 rushing yards in his junior year – and he tied Barry Sanders’ NCAA career season touchdown record of 39. Ball lost weight a year ago to improve his speed and agility. But he said NFL scouts encouraged him to gain around 10 pounds to reach a playing weight of 215 – and Ball said he would test himself at that weight when the Badgers hold their spring practices. In spite of the weight increase, Ball said he would work on increasing his speed – and he vowed to be both stronger and faster in his senior year. Financially, Ball said he was making a huge gamble – but he believes he’s making the right decision to return to the UW for his final season.
University of Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema says he expects running back Montee Ball to keep improving in his senior year. Bielema says Ball wants to help not only himself, but to help the Badgers as they go for their third straight Big Ten title in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Badgers might be losing another assistant coach to Pittsburgh, where former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst took over the head job. Several reports say Joe Rudolph is scheduled for an interview. Rudolph was recently promoted to the offensive line coach and running game coordinator, after line coach Bob Bostad left for Pitt.
Oklahoma University assistant Jay Norvell has taken himself out of the running for the Wisconsin offensive coordinator’s job. Media reports say Norvell will stay with the Sooners. The Madison native and former Badger assistant from 1991-94 was interviewed this week as a possible replacement for Paul Chryst, who left for Pittsburgh. He’s a co-offensive coordinator and receivers’ coach with Oklahoma.