Wisconsin Sports

Former Badgers hope for shot at NFL

Six former Wisconsin players are at the NFL Combine

Six former Badgers at the NFL Combine hope to show their college accomplishments will carry over to the next level.

"They said that Wisconsin running backs don't really translate into the NFL, so I think it's kind of a new era, a new breed of running backs coming out of Wisconsin," said James White, a former running back.

White always seemed to be in Montee Ball's shadow in Madison. Now, he's hoping Ball's success in the NFL paves the way for his own.

"I think we're more explosive," White said. "I think we're guys that can do it all. That's what Coach Hammock, our running backs coach said, is he pushed us to do it all, because you're going to have to be able to do that at the next level if you want to have success."

Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis also hopes to latch on to the success of former Badgers. The Wautoma, Wis. native says seeing them make it to the next level helped him believe he can, too.

"Especially after having Nick Toon with me, and then he left and went to the league. Just knowing that I played with a couple guys that went to the league and have done some good things," Abbrederis said.

There are certain positions at Wisconsin where the path to the NFL is clearly paved. For one, tight end.

"You got Owen Daniels in the league, Jake Byrne who I also played with is still making a living in the leaguel so Wisconsin tight ends have been very successful and I hope to be able to carry that forward," Pedersen said.

The other: offensive line. Of all the Badgers that might hear their names called in April, Middleton, Wis. native Ryan Groy could be the first to go.

"Being an offensive lineman from Wisconsin, we've had a lot of great success the last couple years," Groy said. "I definitely like passing the torch on to the next guys in line."

The other two Badgers at the NFL combine are safety Dezman Southward and linebacker Chris Borland.

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