Wisconsin Football Countdown: No. 32, Mark Montgomery and John Clay


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 32 days until college football is back, is a pair of Badgers backs, Mark Montgomery and John Clay.

The duo of backs was separated by about 15 years, but each was vital to the team’s success during their tenure.

Mark Montgomery

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

A St. Paul, Minnesota native, Montgomery was Wisconsin’s fullback from 1990 to 1993.

He was a three-year starter, started 34 games as a Badger, and blocked for the likes of Terrell Fletcher and Brent Moss.

He helped the 1993 Badgers to a Big Ten Championship, as the offense gainsaid more than 3,000 rushing yards on the season. The ’93 Badgers went on to win the 1994 Rose Bowl, 21-16 over UCLA. Wisconsin gained rushed for 250 yards on the way to the victory.

Montgomery was a seventh round draft pick, No. 206 overall, by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1994 NFL Draft.

John Clay

Clay headed to UW out of Racine, Wisconsin, and was another in a long line of bruising Wisconsin backs. On campus from 2008-2010, Clay’s output ranks among the top ten in numerous categories in the UW record books.

After an 884 yard freshman season, Clay broke out in his second year on campus. His 1,517 yards as a sophomore is the third best effort by a UW sophomore in school history, behind only Melvin Gordon and Terrell Fletcher.

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  • He finished his career after his junior year with 3,413 total rushing yards (10th all time at Wisconsin) on 629 carries (5.4 per carry), scoring 41 career touchdowns. He ran for at least 100 yards in a game 18 times as a Badger.

    Clay took home the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2009 and the Doak Walker Award in 2010. He was a third-team AP-All American in 2010, and a first-team Big Ten pick in 2009.

    He entered the 2011 NFL Draft, but went undrafted, and was signed in free agency by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He scored a touchdown on his very first NFL carry, but only played one year in the NFL, totaling 41 career yards on 10 carries.

    Who wore No. 32 first?

    Harold Rebholz, who we profiled for the No. 49, started his career wearing No. 32, and was the first Badgers player do do so in 1927.

    Who wears No. 32 now?

    • A pair of Badgers currently wear No. 32. On offense, redshirt freshman Noah Stengel wears 32. For the Badgers defense, Leon Jacobs wears No. 32. Jacobs is an inside linebacker who’s expected to produce for the Badgers this season after showing glimpses a year ago and performing well in the spring. Jacobs will hopefully help ease the loss of both Derek Landisch and Marcus Trotter, who graduated last year.

    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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