Updated Scholarship Chart: Running Backs

With Wisconsin and other teams from around the country set to offer more scholarship during the fall recruiting period, Badger Nation updates the scholarship chart for the class of 2009. Already getting a verbal from a talented Missouri runner, the Badgers have another solid tailback in the farm system.

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2009 high school running backs that Wisconsin has shown legitimate interest in

Montee Ball (three star)

5-foot-11, 204 pounds, 4.44 40-yard time

Timberland H.S. – Wentzville, Missouri

Although not the tallest in stature, Montee Ball's statistics have spoken for themselves about how good of an athlete he really is.

During his sophomore year, Ball rushed for 1,845 yards on 297 carries, scored 15 touchdowns and had 12 receptions for 149 yards out of the back field. Also playing defense, Ball recorded 11 solo tackles, six assisted tackles, one sack.

After starting at the running back position his junior year, Ball's numbers ballooned, rushing for 3,077 yards and 32 touchdowns on his way to being named first team All-State, first team All-Metro, first team All-District, first team All-Conference, I.A.F.O. (Officials) Athlete of the Year and St. Louis American Athlete of the Year.

Although Wisconsin was not the first team to enter the picture for Ball (his favorites before the Badgers offered were Iowa State, Missouri and Oklahoma and had scholarship offers from Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Northwestern and Stanford), Ball's visit to Madison in the middle of June was so eye opening that becoming a Badger was what he wanted to do.

"When I sat down with the coaches, I really felt like I could converse with them easier," Ball told Badger Nation. "They say that when you go to the college that you get that feeling and that's the feeling I got from Wisconsin. Everything was perfect."

A very smart player, Ball reads his blockers and can find a hole in the line just as good as anybody. A shifty runner that has solid balance, Ball's smaller stature has given plenty of defensive player's headaches because of his versatility that he brings.

Ball became the sixth commitment in Wisconsin's 2009 class.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Wisconsin Verbal

Hersey Jackson (three stars)

6-foot-1, 208 pounds, 4.8 40-yard time

Allendale Public H.S. – Allendale, Michigan

Not much has changed with the status of Allendale running back Hersey Jackson since his track season ended this summer. What we do know is that Jackson has attended junior days at Cincinnati, Michigan State and Wisconsin, as well as a spring practice at Central Michigan.

After rushing for roughly 1,800 (11 yards per carry) his sophomore season, Jackson dialed up 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns in his junior campaign. A multi-sport athlete, Jackson also excels in basketball and track, where he runs the 100, 200 and 400 meter relay. This past season, he ran the 100m in an impressive 10.98 seconds.

The 58th-ranked running back in the nation, Jackson still holds two offers (Central Michigan and Cincinnati) but has gotten lots of interest from Big Ten schools Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and the Badgers. Jackson, who came to Wisconsin for a one-day camp last summer, is still on the Wisconsin radar, but the Badgers have not offered a scholarship and it's unclear if they will.

Status: No Scholarship – Medium Interest

Eric Williams (one star)

5-foot-11, 195 pounds, 4.63 40-yard time

Warren Central H.S. – Indianapolis, Indiana

After transferred from Fort Wayne Snider after one varsity season, Williams became part of the three-prong running back attack at Warren Central. Although his junior stats are incomplete, Williams had 292 yards on 37 carries (7.89 avg) and a TD and was the team's leading receiver with seven receptions for 102 yards and a TD through October.

A good prospect with a combination of speed and vision, Williams holds an offer from Northern Illinois and is getting interest from Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Miami (OH), Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Having the ability to also play safety, Williams has already made or planning on making trips to Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

As of July 22, Williams reports no offers but looks to be a good candidate to receive his first one when schools issue more scholarships in early fall.

Status: No Scholarship – Medium to Low Interest

Nick Mlady (two stars)

6-foot-1, 191 pounds

Naperville North H.S. – Naperville, Illinois

As the star running back for Naperville North H.S., Mlady knew that helping his team complete a perfect season and win the Illinois 8A state championship would help jump start his recruiting. As it turns out, he was right.

Rushing for over 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior year, Mlady got his first offer from the Naval Academy and has attended Central Michigan and Northern Illinois for one-day camps, visited Minnesota and will visit Harvard's summer camp and then travel to Navy.

Although a running back at Naperville, some schools have been looking at Mlady on the defensive side of the ball. When he went to Northern Illinois' camp, the Huskies put the 6-foot-1, 191-pound Mlady through linebacker drills to see what his skills are.

Linebacker coach Randall McCray has visited Mlady and the running back already has been to Madison for Wisconsin's spring game. Mlady was supposed to attend one of Wisconsin's summer camps but had a scheduling conflict and couldn't attend.

Holding a 3.9 GPA in the classroom, Mlady is looking for a good football school with top-notch education, as he hopes to go into business or sports medicine. As for a timetable with his decision, Mlady is going to take his time and go through the process.

Status: No Scholarship – Medium to Low Interest

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