Montee Ball, the product turned , said playing in motivated him to prove recruiters and scotus wrong, according to a USA Today article published Sunday.
The article highlighted looked at the fact that most of college football's best players were not rated highly coming out of high school.
Ball was a prime example.
From USA Today:
Wisconsin junior running back Montee Ball tied Barry Sanders' record of 39 touchdowns this season and like Kuechly, was a consensus All-American. Coming out of high school, he was listed by ESPN as the No. 74 running back in the country. Ball said he might have been overlooked because he was playing in Wentzville, Mo., instead of Florida, Texas or California.
"It's all about where you play in high school," Ball said. "It's all about getting your name out there. Of course, that motivated me to prove the recruiters and scouts wrong. One thing they can't measure is your desire to keep improving."
Ball was nominated as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in December. At the time, he said he couldn’t have imagined being in the same position just a year before.
He committed himself last off-season to losing weight and being a better threat out of the backfield. Falling behind John Clay and freshman James White on the depth chart and not playing in Wisconsin’s 2010 victory over Ohio State, the biggest win of the season, were proverbial eye openers.
“I told myself it’s now or never,” he said. “Losing the weight, I was able to take more carries. I was a lot more elusive and my cuts were better."
Ball went on to tie Barry Sanders' NCAA record with his 39 touchdowns in a single season.