Wisconsin Football Countdown: No. 54, Gary Messner


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 54 days until college football is back, is Gary Messner.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

With the Badgers from 1952 to 1954, Messner stayed at home in Madison during college.

By the time he left the Badgers, he had helped Wisconsin bring its first Heisman Trophy to Madison.

Messner played center during the 1954 season that saw Alan Ameche become the Heisman Trophy winner. Messner was a first team All-Big Ten selection and a team captain that year.

Who wore No. 54 first?

• Tackle Rube Wagner first wore No. 54 back in 1927.

Who wears No. 54 now?

• Incoming freshman inside linebacker Ty DeForest — a Marshall, Wisconsin native — will wear No. 54 this season.

Who wore No. 54 last?

• Outgoing senior offensive lineman Kyle Costigan last wore No. 54 for the Badgers. In his senior season Costigan helped Melvin Gordon have one of the best seasons rushing the ball in all of college football history. Costigan was a consensus first team All-Big Ten player, and was named a first teamer on ESPN’s All-America team.

Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue our daily countdown in preparation of the season opener against Alabama.

Next: Wisconsin Football Experience

More from Badgers Alumni