Montee Ball
Montee Ball
Ball with the Denver Broncos in 2013
No. 28, 38
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1990-12-05) December 5, 1990 (age 31)
McPherson, Kansas
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Timberland (Wentzville, Missouri)
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 58
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:731
Rushing average:4.2
Rushing touchdowns:5
Receiving yards:207
Receiving touchdowns:0
Player stats at · PFR

Montee Ball Jr. (born December 5, 1990)[1] is a former American football running back. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Wisconsin, where he was twice recognized as the best running back in the Big Ten Conference and a consensus first-team All-American. He was also a member of the New England Patriots.

Until November 14, 2015, Ball held the NCAA Division I-FBS record for most career rushing touchdowns with 77[2] and the NCAA Division I FBS-record for most career total touchdowns with 83.[3]

Early years

Ball was born in McPherson, Kansas. His family later moved to Wentzville, Missouri, where Ball attended Timberland High School and played high school football for the Timberland Wolves.[4] He was ranked as the number 33 running back in the nation and fourth-best player in Missouri by He was named first-team all-state, all-metro, all-district and all-conference as a senior. As a senior, Ball carried the ball 213 times for 2,187 yards and 41 touchdowns. As a junior, Ball was named player of the year (St. Louis American), first-team all-state, all-metro, all-district and all-conference after putting up 358 carries for 3,077 yards and 32 touchdowns, and was recognized in Sports Illustrated magazine's "Faces in the Crowd" section. As a sophomore, Ball was named first team all-district and all-conference after carrying the ball 297 times for 1,845 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a freshman, Ball had 1,113 yards on 127 carries with 19 touchdowns. Ball was a team captain and team MVP as a sophomore, junior and senior. He holds the Wentzville school district rushing records with career totals of 995 carries, 8,222 yards, 107 touchdowns, and an average of 8.26 yards per carry. Ball was also named to the all-academic list three times and was a two-time letterwinner in basketball.

College career

Ball enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, where he played for the Wisconsin Badgers football team from 2009 to 2012.[5]

2009 season

See also: 2009 Wisconsin Badgers football team

As a freshman, Ball played in 9 of 13 games and finished second on the team in rushing yards (391), rushing touchdowns (4), and rushing attempts (98).[6][7]

2010 season

See also: 2010 Wisconsin Badgers football team

Ball played in 12 games, including starts in the final four games.[8] He began the 2010 season as the backup running back to John Clay, the 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Because Clay had offseason ankle surgery and later an MCL injury, Ball gained a prominent role in the Badgers' offense, along with freshman back James White. Ball led the team in rushing touchdowns, ranked second in rushing attempts and scoring, third in rushing yards and all purpose yards and fourth in total offense. His 18 rushing touchdowns tied for fourth-most in a single season, his 6.11 yards per carry is sixth-best in one season at Wisconsin, and his 108 points tied for sixth-most in one season at Wisconsin.[9] At the end of the season, Ball was named consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten.

2011 season

See also: 2011 Wisconsin Badgers football team

Ball played and started in all 14 games. In the season opener, he had 63 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns, two receptions, 67 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown against UNLV.[10] On October 15, 2011, he was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass and scoring three rushing touchdowns with 142 yards rushing, including a career long 54-yard rush, on 14 carries and 46 yards receiving on one catch against Indiana.[11]

On November 5, 2011, Ball was named Big Ten Player of the Week after rushing for a career-high 223 yards against the Purdue Boilermakers. During that game, Ball scored four touchdowns (three rushing and one receiving) which gave him 146 total points scored on the season. This broke Brian Calhoun's school record for total points in a single season of 144.[12]

On November 12, 2011, Ball broke the single season Big Ten Conference record for touchdowns by rushing for two and receiving one against the Minnesota.[13] Ball had 27 touchdowns (23 rushing and 4 receiving) at the end of that game. The previous record of 26 was held by Ohio State's Pete Johnson (1975), Indiana's Anthony Thompson (1988) and Penn State's Ki-Jana Carter (1994).

On November 19, 2011, against Illinois, Ball ran for a career-high 224 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 38 carries. He also added a receiving touchdown and became the fifth player in NCAA Division I FBS history to score 30 touchdowns in a single season.[14]

On November 26, 2011, Ball scored four touchdowns against Penn State, and four more in the Big Ten Championship game one week later, giving Ball 38 touchdowns on the season, which is 2nd all-time in FBS.[15] He trails Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders, who scored 39 touchdowns in 1988.

Ball was one of three finalists for the 2011 Doak Walker Award joining Oregon's LaMichael James and Alabama's Trent Richardson. The award was given to Alabama's Trent Richardson.

Ball was named First Team All-Big Ten, by both the coaches and media, at the conclusion of the 2011 regular season. He was also the winner of two other Big Ten awards, the Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award (which was renamed in 2011 after of Northwestern's Otto Graham and Ohio State's Eddie George) and the Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year award, which was also renamed in 2011 after Wisconsin's Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne.[16]

On December 5, 2011, Ball was named one of five finalists for the Heisman Trophy. He was joined by Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and Alabama running back Trent Richardson.[17] On the same day, Ball was named All-American by the AFCA, joining teammates Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler.[18] Ball was also named an All-American by CBS, again joined by teammate Peter Konz.

On December 8, 2011, Ball was named First Team All-American by Yahoo Sports. His teammates Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler were named to the second team and quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Chris Borland were named to the third team.[19]

On December 10, 2011, Ball was one of five finalists for the Heisman Trophy. He finished fourth in the voting, with 348 points (22-1st place, 83-2nd place and 116-3rd place points). Ball's fourth-place finish was the highest in Wisconsin history for a non-winner of the award, until Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon finished second behind Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota in 2014. He was joined by teammate Russell Wilson, who also received votes. Wilson finished ninth with 52 points. Baylor's Robert Griffin III won the award.[20][21]

On January 2, 2012, Ball scored his 39th touchdown of the season, tying him with Barry Sanders for most touchdowns in a single FBS season. He finished the season with 1,923 rushing yards, 33 rushing touchdowns, 24 receptions, 306 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns.[22]

On January 5, 2012, Ball announced he would return for his senior year with the Badgers rather than enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

2012 season

See also: 2012 Wisconsin Badgers football team

Senior Introductions vs Ohio State
Senior Introductions vs Ohio State
Ball in 2012
Ball in 2012

On October 13, 2012, Ball scored three rushing touchdowns against Purdue, giving Ball a career total of 72 touchdowns.[23] This broke the Big Ten record and the Wisconsin record of 71 held by former Badgers running back Ron Dayne. He also ran for a career-high of 247 yards against the Boilermakers.[24]

On November 24, 2012, Ball became the FBS career record holder for total touchdowns when he scored his 79th touchdown on a 17-yard run against Penn State.[25]

On December 6, 2012, Ball won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back. He finished ahead of finalists Kenjon Barner of Oregon and Johnathan Franklin of UCLA. Ball became the second Badger to win the award. Ron Dayne won the award in 1999.

On January 1, 2013, Ball became the first player in Rose Bowl Game history to score a touchdown in three straight years. Overall, he finished the season with 1,830 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns.[26]

College statistics

Season Rushing Receiving
Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds TD
2009 98 391 4.0 35 4 9 92 0
2010 163 996 6.1 44 18 16 128 0
2011 307 1,923 6.3 54 33 24 306 6
2012 356 1,830 5.1 67 22 10 72 0
Totals 924 5,140 5.6 67 77 59 598 6


NCAA single season records

NCAA career records

Big Ten single season records

Wisconsin single season records

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 10+12 in
(1.79 m)
214 lb
(97 kg)
32+58 in
(0.83 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.66 s 1.61 s 2.59 s 4.40 s 6.88 s 32 in
(0.81 m)
9 ft 10 in
(3.00 m)
15 reps
All values from NFL Combine[27][28]

Denver Broncos

Ball was drafted in the second round with the 58th overall pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2013 NFL Draft.[29] In his NFL debut, Ball had eight carries for 24 yards in Denver's 49–27 win against the Baltimore Ravens.[30] On October 27, 2013, Ball scored his first career touchdown on a 4-yard run against the Washington Redskins.[31] On December 1, against the Kansas City Chiefs, Ball had his best game of his rookie season, with 13 carries for 117 yards, including a 45-yard run, the longest of his career.[32] He had another rushing touchdown against the Tennessee Titans that sealed the game for Denver.[33] Overall, he finished the 2013 season with 559 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.[34]

Ball started in only three regular season games in 2014 and suffered a groin injury in Week 5. He was placed on injured reserve on December 13, 2014, finishing the 2014 season with 172 yards and one touchdown.[35][36]

Ball entered the 2015 season with the Broncos fighting for a roster spot with fellow running backs C. J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, and Juwan Thompson. After rushing for only 68 yards on 32 carries in the preseason, the Broncos waived Ball on September 6, 2015.[37]

New England Patriots

After being released and failing to find a new team quickly, Ball gained weight. He showed up to a tryout with the Green Bay Packers 30 pounds overweight.[38] On December 15, 2015, the New England Patriots signed Ball to their practice squad, where he spent the rest of the season. On February 9, 2016, Ball was released by the Patriots following a domestic violence arrest.[39]

NFL career statistics

Year Team GP Rushing Receiving Fumbles
Att Yds Avg Lng TD FD Rec Tgt Yds Avg Lng TD FD Fum Lost
2013 DEN 16 120 559 4.7 45 4 35 20 27 145 7.3 31 0 10 3 3
2014 DEN 5 55 172 3.1 23 1 9 9 13 62 6.9 16 0 2 1 1
Total[40] 21 175 731 4.2 45 5 44 29 40 207 7.1 31 0 12 4 4

Personal life

Ball's parents are Montee Sr. and Melissa Ball. Ball's cousin, Darius Hill, played football at Ball State. Ball enjoys basketball, reading, and video games. Ball is a Christian.[41]

Ball was assaulted in the early morning hours of August 1, 2012, while walking on University Avenue in Madison. The attackers were reported to be three black males unknown to Ball.[42][43] During the early morning of February 5, 2016, Ball was arrested on a felony battery charge after an apparent dispute with his girlfriend. It was reported that Ball threw her onto a table, causing a cut on her leg, which required stitches.[44] Ball was drunk during the incident.[38]

On April 11, 2016, Ball was arrested in Walworth County, Wisconsin for felony bail jumping while drinking alcohol, due to having felony bond conditions in Dane County, Wisconsin not to consume alcohol or be in a bar or tavern.[45]

Later in 2016, he accepted a plea deal for two cases involving domestic violence accusations and was sentenced to 60 days of house arrest, 18 months of probation and domestic violence and alcohol counseling.[38]

Ball, like his father and grandfather, is a recovering alcoholic. Ball began showing up drunk to practice as a junior in college and continued the habit in his professional career. During the NFL season, Ball would get drunk on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday nights. His spiraling alcoholism and depression derailed his football career.[38]

Ball has a son named Maverick who he credited with helping lift him from alcoholism and irresponsibility.[38] He is now an Outreach Specialist for Wisconsin Voices of Recovery.[46]

See also


  1. ^ "MySTACK Is Now The STACK Performance Center | STACK". Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  2. ^ "Quarterback Keenan Reynolds of Navy Midshipmen sets FBS record for rushing touchdowns". ESPN. November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 28, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Before Montee Ball was an AFC champion, he was a standout at Timberland". USA TODAY High School Sports. January 28, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  5. ^ "Montee Ball College Stats". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  6. ^ "2009 Wisconsin Badgers Stats". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "Montee Ball 2009 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  8. ^ "Montee Ball 2010 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  9. ^ "2010 Wisconsin Badgers Stats". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "Nevada-Las Vegas at Wisconsin Box Score, September 1, 2011". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Indiana at Wisconsin Box Score, October 15, 2011". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  12. ^ "Purdue at Wisconsin Box Score, November 5, 2011". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "Wisconsin at Minnesota Box Score, November 12, 2011". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  14. ^ "Wisconsin at Illinois Box Score, November 19, 2011". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  15. ^ "Penn State at Wisconsin Box Score, November 26, 2011". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  16. ^ "Complete All-Big Ten football teams". Detroit Free Press. November 29, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  17. ^ "Finalists for 2011 Heisman announced | CollegeFootballTalk". Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  18. ^ Mason, Brian (December 5, 2011). "Ball and blockers Konz, Zeitler named All-Americans". Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  19. ^ "SEC dominates 2011 All-America Team — College Football —". December 8, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  20. ^ "Heisman Pundit". Heisman Pundit. November 19, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  21. ^ "2011 Heisman Trophy Voting". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "Montee Ball 2011 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  23. ^ "Wisconsin at Purdue Box Score, October 13, 2012". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  24. ^ "Montee Ball Has Career Day". Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  25. ^ "Wisconsin at Penn State Box Score, November 24, 2012". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "Montee Ball 2012 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  27. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles — Montee Ball". Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  28. ^ "Montee Ball | Wisconsin, RB : 2013 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". September 21, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  29. ^ "2013 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  30. ^ "Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos - September 5th, 2013". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  31. ^ "Washington Redskins at Denver Broncos - October 27th, 2013". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  32. ^ "Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs - December 1st, 2013". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  33. ^ "Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos - December 8th, 2013". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  34. ^ "Montee Ball 2013 Game Log". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  35. ^ "Broncos place Montee Ball on IR". December 13, 2014.
  36. ^ "Montee Ball 2014 Game Log". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  37. ^ "Montee Ball one of two players waived after Broncos' additions". September 6, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  38. ^ a b c d e Marvez, Alex (April 6, 2017). "Montee Ball's comeback from rock bottom has nothing to do with football". Sporting News. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  39. ^ "Patriots officially release RB Montee Ball". February 9, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  40. ^ "Montee Ball Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  41. ^ "Klee: Faith links Super Bowl duo Russell Wilson and Montee Ball".
  42. ^ "Montee Ball attacked by 5 men". ESPN. August 1, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  43. ^ "UPDATE: Badgers Running Back Montee Ball Attacked". August 1, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  44. ^ "Montee Ball arrested after alleged hotel dispute with girlfriend". ESPN. February 5, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  45. ^ Turner, Robyn. "Montee Ball arrested for felony bail jumping".
  46. ^ "Wisconsin Voices of Recovery".