Wisconsin Football Countdown: No. 28, Montee Ball and Anthony Davis


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 28 days until college football is back, is a pair of star Badgers running backs — Montee Ball and Anthony Davis.

Anthony Davis

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Davis spent 2001-2004 at UW and burst onto the scene as a freshman, and continued his early success throughout his four-year career as a Badger.

He totaled 4,676 rushing yards in his career, which at the time was second-best all-time at UW, behind only Ron Dayne. He has since been passed by fellow No. 28 Ball as well as Melvin Gordon.

He’s tied with P.J. Hill for sixth all-time at UW with 42 career touchdowns.

Davis is one of a handful of Badgers backs to score 5 touchdowns in a single game, a feat he accomplished against Minnesota in 2002. He also broke the 300-yard rushing mark in that game, making him one of four Badgers to eclipse 300 yards in a  single game.

He finished his career with 24 100-yard games and five 200-yard rushing games. He scored 252 points as a Badger.

He was a Doak Walker Award finalist and the Big Ten Rookie of the Year in 2001, as well as a First Team All-Big Ten selection and the team’s rookie of the year. He was a team captain in 2004.

Live Feed

Wisconsin vs. Purdue Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4
Wisconsin vs. Purdue Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 4 /


  • Big Ten football: 2023 Week 2 power rankingsSaturday Blitz
  • Big Ten Football: 2023 Week 1 power rankingsSaturday Blitz
  • College Football Top 25 Picks Against the Spread for Week 2Betsided
  • College Football Top 25 Picks Against the Spread for Week 1Betsided
  • Buffalo vs. Wisconsin Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for College Football Week 1Betsided
  • Davis was a seventh round pick (No. 243 overall) by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2005 NFL Draft. He never appeared in an NFL game, but later played two seasons in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

    Montee Ball

    Ball spent 2009 to 2012 becoming one of the best rushers in school history, setting numerous school, Big Ten and NCAA records along the way.

    He’s second all-time behind only Dayne with 5,140 career rushing yards. he had a career average of 5.6 yards per carry (third all time at UW) on nearly 1,000 attempts as a Badger.

    He owns two of the top 5 single season rushing records at UW, carrying the ball for 1,923 yards in 2011 and 1,830 yards in 2012. He had 26 100-yard rushing games in his career and 4 200-yard games.

    He’s one of the most prolific scorers in both school and NCAA history. He set single-season marks in 2011 with 39 touchdowns  — a Wisconsin, Big Ten and NCAA record — scored two or more touchdowns in 13 straight games in 2011 — another NCAA record — and scored 236 points in 2011, the most in NCAA history for a non-kicker. His 77 career rushing touchdowns and 83 total career touchdowns are both NCAA records. He scored 500 points in his college football career.

    Ball is also the first player in Rose Bowl history to score a touchdown in three straight Rose Bowl games.

    More from Badgers Alumni

    He helped the Badgers to Big Ten Championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was the MVP of the Big Ten Championship Game in 2012. He won the Doak Walker Award in 2012, was the Big Ten offensive Player of the Year in 2011, the Big ten Running Back of the Year in both 2011 and 2012, was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2011 and 2012 and a consensus All-American in 2011 and 2012. He also won the Archie Griffin Award in 2011.

    Ball was a Heisman finalist in 2011 as well, finishing fourth in the voting.

    Ball was a second round daft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft (No. 58 overall) by the Denver Broncos. He has played in 21 NFL games and totaled 731 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns so far in his career.

    Who wore No. 28 first?

    • Fullback Lewis Smith was the first Badgers player to wear No. 28 in 1927.

    Who wears No. 28 now?

    • Another Badgers running back — redshirt freshman Taiwan Deal — is hoping to continue the legacy of the number instilled by guys like Ball and Davis.

    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