Montee Ball Jr. (born December 5, 1990) is an American football running back who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Wisconsin, where he was twice recognized as the best running back in the Big Ten Conference and a consensus first-team All-American.
Until November 14, 2015, Ball held the NCAA Division I-FBS record for most career rushing touchdowns with 77 and the NCAA Division I FBS record for most career total touchdowns with 83.
Ball was born in McPherson, Kansas. His family later moved to Wentzville, Missouri, where Ball attended Timberland High School and played high school football for the Timberland Wolves. He was ranked as the number 33 running back in the nation and fourth-best player in Missouri by Rivals.com. He was named first-team all-state, all-metro, all-district and all-conference as a senior. As a senior, Ball carried the ball 213 times for 2,187 yards and 41 touchdowns. As a junior, Ball was named player of the year (St. Louis American), first-team all-state, all-metro, all-district and all-conference after putting up 358 carries for 3,077 yards and 32 touchdowns, and was recognized in Sports Illustrated magazine's "Faces in the Crowd" section. As a sophomore, Ball was named first team all-district and all-conference after carrying the ball 297 times for 1,845 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a freshman, Ball had 1,113 yards on 127 carries with 19 touchdowns. Ball was a team captain and team MVP as a sophomore, junior and senior. He holds the Wentzville school district rushing records with career totals of 995 carries, 8,222 yards, 107 touchdowns and an average of 8.26 yards per carry. Ball was also named to the all-academic list three times and was a two-time letterwinner in basketball.
As a freshman, Ball played in 9 of 13 games and finished second on the team in rushing yards (391), rushing touchdowns (4) and rushing attempts (98).
Ball played in 12 games, including starts in the final four games. He began the 2010 season as the backup running back to John Clay, the 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Because Clay had offseason ankle surgery and later an MCL injury, Ball gained a prominent role in the Badgers' offense, along with freshman back James White. Ball led the team in rushing touchdowns, ranked second in rushing attempts and scoring, third in rushing yards and all purpose yards and fourth in total offense. His 18 rushing touchdowns tied for fourth-most in a single season, his 6.11 yards per carry is sixth-best in one season at Wisconsin, and his 108 points tied for sixth-most in one season at Wisconsin. At the end of the season, Ball was named consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten.
Ball played and started in all 14 games. On October 15, 2011, he was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after throwing a 25-yard TD pass and scoring three rushing touchdowns with 142 yards rushing, including a career long 54-yard rush, on 14 carries and 46 yards receiving on one catch against Indiana.
On November 5, 2011, Ball was named Big Ten Player of the Week after rushing for a career high 223 yards against the Purdue Boilermakers. During that game, Ball scored four touchdowns (three rushing and one receiving) which gave him 146 total points scored on the season. This broke Brian Calhoun's school record for total points in a single season of 144.
On November 12, 2011, Ball broke the single season Big Ten Conference record for touchdowns by rushing for two and receiving one against the Minnesota. Ball had 27 touchdowns (23 rushing and 4 receiving) at the end of that game. The previous record of 26 was held by Ohio State's Pete Johnson (1975), Indiana's Anthony Thompson (1988) and Penn State's Ki-Jana Carter (1994).
On November 19, 2011, against Illinois, Ball ran for a career high 224 yards and two touchdowns on a career high 38 carries. He also added a receiving touchdown and became the fifth player in NCAA Division I FBS history to score 30 touchdowns in a single season.
On November 26, 2011, Ball scored four touchdowns against Penn State, and four more in the Big Ten Championship game one week later, giving Ball 38 touchdowns on the season, which is 2nd all-time in FBS. He trails Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders, who scored 39 touchdowns in 1988.
Ball was named First Team All-Big Ten, by both the coaches and media, at the conclusion of the 2011 regular season. He was also the winner of two other Big Ten awards, the Graham-George Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award (which was renamed in 2011 after of Northwestern's Otto Graham and Ohio State's Eddie George) and the Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year award, which was also renamed in 2011 after Wisconsin's Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne.
On December 5, 2011, Ball was named one of five finalists for the Heisman Trophy. He was joined by Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and Alabama running back Trent Richardson. On the same day, Ball was named All-American by the AFCA, joining teammates Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler. Ball was also named an All-American by CBS, again joined by teammate Peter Konz.
On December 8, 2011, Ball was named First Team All-American by Yahoo Sports. His teammates Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler were named to the second team and quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Chris Borland were named to the third team.
On December 10, 2011, Ball was one of five finalists for the Heisman Trophy. He finished fourth in the voting, with 348 points (22-1st place, 83-2nd place and 116-3rd place points). Ball's fourth-place finish was the highest in Wisconsin history for a non-winner of the award. He was joined by teammate Russell Wilson, who also received votes. Wilson finished ninth with 52 points. Baylor's Robert Griffin III won the award.
On January 5, 2012, Ball announced he would return for his senior year with the UW Badgers rather than enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
On October 13, 2012, Ball scored three rushing touchdowns against Purdue, giving Ball a career total of 72 touchdowns. This broke the Big Ten record and the Wisconsin record of 71 held by former Badgers running back Ron Dayne. He also ran for a career high of 247 yards against the Boilermakers.
On November 24, 2012, Ball became the FBS career record holder for total touchdowns when he scored his 79th touchdown on a 17-yard run against Penn State.
On December 6, 2012, Ball won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back. He finished ahead of finalists Kenjon Barner of Oregon and Johnathan Franklin of UCLA. Ball was the second Badger to win the award. Ron Dayne won the award in 1999.
On January 1, 2013, Ball became the first player in Rose Bowl Game history to score a touchdown in three straight years.
|Year||Team||Att||Yards||Avg||Long||Rush TDs||Rec||Yards||Rec TDs|
NCAA single season records
- Most touchdowns, season: 39 tied (2011)
- Most consecutive games with two or more touchdowns: 13 (2011)
- Most points scored by non-kicker: 236 (2011)
NCAA career records
- Most touchdowns: 83 (2009-2012)
Big Ten single season records
- Most touchdowns: 39 (2011)
Wisconsin single season records
- Most touchdowns: 39 (2011)
- Most rushing touchdowns: 33 (2011)
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 10 in||214 lb||32 5/8 in||9 in||4.66 s||1.61 s||2.59 s||4.40 s||6.88 s||32 in||9 ft 8 in||15 reps|
|All values from NFL Combine|
In his NFL debut, Ball had 8 carries for 24 yards in Denver's 49–27 win against the Baltimore Ravens. On October 27, 2013, Ball scored his first career touchdown on a 4-yard run against the Washington Redskins. On December 1, Ball had his best game of his rookie season, with 13 carries for 117 yards, including a 45-yard run, the longest of his career to date. He had another rushing touchdown against the Tennessee Titans that sealed the game for Denver.
Ball started in only three regular season games in 2014 and suffered a groin injury in week 5. He was placed on injured reserve on December 13, 2014, finishing the season with 172 yards and one touchdown.
Ball entered the 2015 season with the Broncos fighting for a roster spot with fellow running backs C. J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, and Juwan Thompson. After rushing for only 68 yards on 32 carries in the preseason, the Broncos waived Ball on September 6, 2015.
New England Patriots
On December 15, 2015, the New England Patriots signed Ball to their practice squad, where he spent the rest of the season. On February 9, 2016, Ball was released by the Patriots.
|Year||Team||Games Played||Attempts||Yards||Yards per Attempt||Longest Rush||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
|Year||Team||Games Played||Rec||Targets||Yards||Yards per Rec||Long||Touchdowns||First Downs||Fumbles||Fumbles Lost|
Parents are Montee Sr. and Melissa Ball. Cousin Darius Hill played football at Ball State. Ball enjoys basketball, reading, and video games.
Ball is a Christian.
Ball was assaulted in the early morning hours of August 1, 2012, while walking on University Avenue in Madison. The attackers were reported to be three black males unknown to Ball.
During the early morning of February 5, 2016, Ball was arrested on a felony battery charge after an apparent dispute with his girlfriend. It was reported that Ball threw her onto a table, causing a cut on her leg, which required stitches.
On April 11, 2016, Ball was arrested in Walworth County for felony bail jumping while drinking alcohol, due to having felony bond conditions in Dane County not to consume alcohol or be in a bar/tavern.