After rushing for 3,077 yards and 32 touchdowns during his junior year (and being named athlete of the year by a number of Missouri organizations), Wisconsin recruit Montee Ball is setting his sights higher for himself and his Timberland H.S. football team.
In three games this season and carrying the ball roughly 16-to-17 times a game, Ball has recorded 533 rushing yards and a 13 touchdowns. In three seasons, Ball has rushed for 5,488 yards and is just 927 yards away from tying the area's rushing record.
But Ball is far from cocky, realizing that running the ball is his team's M.O. and he is quick to give all the credit to his offensive front five.
"We're a confident team and running the ball is what we do best," Ball said. "I worked hard over the summer on my quickness and my foot speed and I think that has really shown in my last three games. Mostly though, I give the credit to my offensive linemen. We have some pretty tough guys that are opening up some holes for us and they improved a lot from last year."
While his team's early season has got Ball exciting and thinking about a state championship, the play of his future school has got him pretty amped up, as well. Watching the Badgers every Saturday and getting to talk football with Coach Doeren in their weekly call every Sunday, Ball is exciting to be joining Wisconsin's stable of running backs.
"It's pretty exciting to sit back and watch P.J. Hill run the football," Ball said. "He's a really good running back and he obviously has good coaches teaching him so that's exciting that I will be learning under the same coaches. It's good to see the running backs succeed because of how important they are to the offense."
After having only been to the Wisconsin campus once, Ball has got a busy couple months ahead. First, the prep tailback will be coming up for an official visit on October 4 when the Badgers host Ohio State. Two months later, Ball is going to be coming up for a banquet the Badgers have for all of their committed recruits and is planning on taking his official visit then.
"I am pretty excited actually to tour around and look at the campus and be apart of the atmosphere," Ball said. "The Ohio State is going to be an overwhelming game because of all the exciting in the stands and on the sidelines. It's going to be a great environment to play in."
Ball, who picked Wisconsin over scholarship offers from Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, Northwestern and Stanford in June, is still happy with making his decision before his senior year and can't wait to join the Badger family next summer.
"It was fun going through the recruiting process because it only happens once in your life, but I am happy that it is over," he said. "I am going to a great school and I can just focus on my senior year and getting my players to the dome and playing for a state championship."