Trimming the Fat

After reemerging during the second half of last season, junior Montee Ball is slated to be the feature back this fall. With that in mind, Ball has slimmed down his weight and beefed up his knowledge of the offense for what he hopes is another solid season.

MADISON — After taking over as the lead running back midseason in 2010, junior Montee Ball enters the spring season as the No. 1 running back for his first time at Wisconsin.

His first goal as the top back was to shed some weight over the winter.

As every Badger linebacker and defensive back can attest, his mission was accomplished. Ball checked in to spring ball looking more cut and faster than he has at any point in his UW career.

After practice, Ball checked in with Badger Nation.

Badger Nation: It looks like you lost weight this winter, what did you do to shed some pounds?

Ball: Really, all I did was I just increased my exercise. Before every practice and after workouts I would go on a three mile run. And then I would go home and eat a baked potato with cottage cheese in it. And I did that for three weeks, four weeks.

Badger Nation: Talk about the difference in playing right now without the added weight?

Ball: I have noticed that I am not getting as tired. I feel a lot faster. I think my footwork is better and it is always good to stay in shape early.

Badger Nation: Is the strength still up after losing some pounds?

Ball: My strength is the same, yeah. [Strength and conditioning coach Ben] Herbert made sure he stayed on top of that and he knew what diet I was on. So he was on top of that. So I just feel good, I feel ready to go.

Badger Nation: What is your weight down to?

Ball: The lowest I have weighed is 209 from 230 I was at during the Rose Bowl. I am about 212, 213 right now.

Badger Nation: Bret Bielema said you want to be at about 222 during the season…

Ball: Herb is going to put me on a diet to promote healthy weight gain. I should be good for another six or seven pounds, just to keep my strength together.

Badger Nation: So more baked potato and cottage cheese?

Ball: Yeah. [Laughs]. I actually don't like cottage cheese at all. But he said it is one of the best things for you when you are trying to maintain weight, so I just did it.

Badger Nation: So what is the reason for the weight loss? Why did you decide to drop?

Ball: I felt way to heavy last year. Way to slow. Way to heavy. I just know that by staying in shape now — and I am going to test it out in the spring game — I am sure it is going to help. Staying in shape now I am going to be in even better shape going into summer workouts.

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