Fredericksburg (VA) Stafford offensive lineman Josh Ball knew very little about the University of Wisconsin when secondary coach Daronte Jones offered a scholarship Thursday. After all, Ball had only first had contact with Jones and the Badgers earlier that day when the first-year assistant coach followed him on Twitter and started a dialogue.
But once the 6-7, 310-pound Ball started hearing the facts about how many former UW offensive linemen are currently earning paychecks in the National Football League, the three-star prospect certainly was taken aback.
“I never would have expected that many players from that school (to be in the NFL),” Ball told BadgerNation. “I was very surprised and pleased with it. That’s awesome.”
Speaking on the phone with Jones after the offer, Ball said Jones told him he’s “the guy they’re looking for” to carry on that offensive line tradition. That distinction came strictly off of watching Ball’s film, which spoke loudly to him.
“It’s crazy to think it’s based off film,” said Ball. “I think my film is great but for a big school to offer based solely off that is awesome.”
Ball holds offers from Duke, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Marshall, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina State, Old Dominion, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
He’s already come out with a top five of Florida State, Penn State, South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia but maintains that that group is subject to change.
“It’s not a firm top five, just the ones I’m highly thinking of right now,” said Ball. “It could change at any time, any of them. I want to get (my decision) done over the summer, take all my visits over the summer and commit maybe midsummer.”
“I’m looking for a good education, that’s one of the main top things,” said Ball. “Football doesn’t last forever. I want to go somewhere where I’m competing for a national championship. Those are two main attributes I am looking for.”