Wisconsin Football Countdown: No. 36, Earl Girard


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 36 days until college football is back, is Earl Girard.

Known as “Jug,” Girard played quarterback, safety and punter for the Badgers in 1944 and 1947.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Born and raised in Marinette, Wisconsin, Jug turned down offers to play professional baseball while he was still in high school, choosing instead to enroll at UW Madison.

He quickly became a star for the Badgers, and was chosen as a Look first team All-American as a 17-year-old freshman in 1944.

Like many other Badgers of his era, 1945 meant war-time for Girard. He served in the United States Army and was discharged in November of 1945, but he re-enlisted to serve another year.

Girard returned to the Badgers in 1947.

He still holds a Wisconsin record for the most punt return yards in a single game — 158 yards on three returns —in 1947 against the Iowa Hawkeyes. He returned two punts for touchdowns that game.

In 1948, Girard became the sixth Badgers player in school history to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, going seventh overall to the Green Bay Packers.

He played with the Packers from 1948-1951, the Detroit Lions from 1952-1956, and for the Pittsburgh Steeler in 1957.

Who wore No. 36 first?

• Guard John Parks first wore No. 36 in 1928.

Who wears No. 36 now?

• A pair of Badgers currently wear No. 36. On defense, redshirt sophomore safety Joe Ferguson currently wears No. 36. Offensively, incoming freshman running back Troy Laufenberg from Waunakee, Wisconsin will wear the number this season.

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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