As the countdown to the first Wisconsin football game of the season continues, Badger of Honor is taking a look at Badgers by the numbers, checking in on a different Badger or Badgers players who wore the number corresponding with the remaining days until the Badgers head to Texas to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday, Sept. 5.
Two of the most recent Badgers to wear the No. 96, Hayden and Allen both roamed the sidelines pretty recently in Madison.
Nick Hayden — a Hartland, Wisconsin native — played at UW from 2004 to 2007. He played in 44 total games as a Badger, 39 of them consecutively to finish his time at UW. He finished his Wisconsin career with 132 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks and 6 fumble recoveries.
Beau Allen — from Eden Prairie, Minnesota — spent 2010-2013 at Wisconsin. He totaled 93 tackles and 8 sacks anchoring the Badgers defensive line from his nose tackle position.
Both former Badgers found NFL teams willing to take a chance on them late in the draft process.
Hayden was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the 181st pick overall.
Allen, meanwhile, was a seventh round pick, No. 224 overall, in the 2008 NFL Draft, by the Philadelphia Eagles.
In his rookie season, Allen was a member of the Eagles’ defensive line rotation. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, and totaled 10 tackles and half a sack.
He’s also just a really, really interesting person:
He looks set to have continued success in the NFL after a quick rookie start.
Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Nick Hayden (96) in action against the Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Hayden, on the other hand, saw very little time his rookie season. He played in just two games, but that number jumped to 10 as a second year player and 14 in his third year.
He signed a free agency contract with the Cincinnati Bengals the following year, but a high ankle sprain cut short his 2011 season. He was later released.
That wasn’t the last we’d hear of Nick Hayden, however, as after sitting out a year in 2012 he began to revitalize his career. He was signed prior to the 2013 season by the Dallas Cowboys, and hasn’t missed a start since.
He has 135 career tackles and 2 sacks, and is a regular starter for the Cowboys.
Both Hayden and Allen continue to add to the list of successful Badgers at the next level.
Other notable No. 96’s:
• John Favret, defensive lineman, 1997-2000
Favret was a member of the Rose Bowl teams in 1998 and 1999. He was a four-year starter for the Badgers.
Who wears it now?
• Redshirt freshman defensive end Billy Hirschfeld currently wears. the No. 96 for the Wisconsin Badgers.
Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue our daily countdown of former Wisconsin football players in preparation of the season opener against Alabama.
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