Wisconsin Football Countdown: No. 42, Tarek Saleh


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 42 days until college football is back, is Tarek Saleh.

After growing up in Woodbridge, Connecticut, Saleh chose Wisconsin over the likes of Penn State, Syracuse and Boston College.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

He spent 1993 to 1996 becoming a dominant defensive end for the Badgers, starting at outside linebacker in 1994 before transitioning to defensive end in 1995 and 1996, where he excelled at getting into the backfield.

Saleh holds Wisconsin’s record with 58 career tackles for loss and 33 career sacks.

He has the 2nd and 3rd best single season sack numbers in UW history, recording 14 in 1996 and 12 in 1995. Similarly his 23 tackles for loss in 1995 and 21 tackles for a loss in 1996 are the 5th and 6th best single-season marks in school history.

He led the Badgers with 74 total tackles in 1996. He was also a team captain in 1996, and in the final game of the season earned Copper Bowl Defensive MVP honors after he totaled 6 tackles, a pass defended and a blocked field goal in an upset victory over Utah.

He was a Football News second team All-American in 1995 and a Football News first team All-American in 1996., as well as a two-time (1995 and 1996) first team All-Big Ten linebacker.

He was a fourth round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in the 1997 NFL Draft (No. 122 overall), and spent 1997-1998 with the Panthers, playing linebacker. In 1999 he was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the expansion draft, and he finished out his career playing fullback and linebacker for the Browns from 1999-2000.

In 2005 he was selected to the All-Alvarez team, joining Tom Burke as the two defensive ends.

Who wore No. 42 first?

• Tackle Stanley Binish first wore No. 42 in 1927.

Who wears No. 42 now?

• Redshirt sophomore tight end T.J. Watt currently wears No. 42 for the Badgers. Watt (obviously) has great lineage, and can hopefully help the Badgers down the road.

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

Next: Wisconsin Football Experience

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