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 82 days until college football is back, is former Wisconsin wide receiver Tony Simmons.
Tony Simmons spent 1994-1997 at UW, and became one of the most prolific wide receivers in school history.
His name is still firmly entrenched in the UW record book. He has the highest career average yards per reception of any former Badger, 20.1 yards per catch. He’s eighth in career reception yards (1,991) and is tied with Jared Abbrederis with 23 career receiving touchdowns, the second best mark in school history.
His 588 receiving yards as a freshman are the third most all-time for a Wisconsin freshman, behind only Jonathan Orr and Brandon Williams (both in 2002).
“Touchdown Tony” was also a successful track athlete at UW.
Following his collegiate career, Simmons was taken 52nd overall in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.
He played for the Patriots until 2000, then bounced around different leagues, spending time with the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe, the Cleveland Browns, and the Indianapolis Colts in 2001; the Houston Texans and New York Giants in 2002; and the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL in 2004.
He caught on with the BC Lions of the CFL in 2005, and spent the next few years in the Canadian league. He then spent a year in 2010 with the Triangle Razorbacks of Football Denmark.
Once his playing days were over, Simmons began coaching, and most recently was the coach of Briganti Napoli, a Naples, Italy-based football team.
Who wore No. 82 first?
• Halfback Karl Schuelke first wore No. 82 in 1934.
Who wears No. now?
• Redshirt senior wide receiver Jake Stengel currently wears No. 82 for the Badgers.
Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue our daily countdown in preparation of the season opener against Alabama.