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.
Next up in our countdown, signifying 93 days until college football is back, is a pair of Badgers whose UW playing careers were separated by 68 years — Frederick Gage and Louis Nzegwu.
Gage was at Wisconsin from 1938-1940, playing both quarterback and guard while at Wisconsin. His significance to the Badgers, however, goes far beyond his abilities on the field.
Gage was the voice of the Badgers from the 1950s to the 1980s, spending 35 years behind the microphone calling Wisconsin football games.
Gage passed away in 2003 at the age of 84 from Alzheimer’s disease, but his legacy will live on in Wisconsin history.
Pat Richter, UW athletic director at the time of Gage’s death, had kind words to say about the broadcasting legend in an obituary published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"“There are certain people who are characters in every lovable sense of the word and Fred was one of them.”“He was terrific. And through the years I gained an appreciation for the lovable person he always was — one incredible golfer and a man who had a passion for the Badgers.”"
In 2008, 68 years after Gage hung up the pads, Nzegwu started his career as a Badger. He played at Wisconsin until 2011, playing in 48 games, starting 27.
In his career he totaled 100 tackles (17.5 for a loss), 11 sacks, six passes defended, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the 2012 Rose Bowl.
Following college, Nzegwu has led an inspiring journey to continue his professional career. Our own Jon Rzepecki recently interviewed the former Badger, and Nzegwu was incredibly forthcoming in telling his story, the ups and downs of trying to compete at the highest level.
We wish Nzegwu the best of luck continuing his post-college journey.
Who wore No. 93 first?
• Center Nick Denovich was the first to wear No. 93 in 1935.
Who wears No. 93 now?
• Redshirt senior defensive end Jake Keefer currently wears No. 93 for the Badgers.
Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue our daily countdown in preparation of the season opener against Alabama.
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