Wisconsin Football: Wisconsin Badgers All-Time Team

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All-Time Team: All-Purpose

Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch: Known as “Crazylegs,” Elroy Hirsch is firmly cemented in Wisconsin football history.

Though he played just one season for the Badgers in 1942, he quickly made his presence known in a multitude of ways. The Badgers went 8-1-1 in his lone season at UW, led by his triple-threat capabilities. Hirsch totaled 786 rushing yards, 390 receiving yards and 226 passing yards on the season. He helped the Badgers take down No. 1 Ohio State by throwing a touchdown pass and totaling more than 200 total yards of offense.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

He earned his “Crazy Legs” nickname when after a long touchdown run against Notre Dame, Francis Powers of the Chicago Daily News wrote that, “his crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions, all at the same time; he looked like a demented duck.”

The Badgers finished the year ranked third nationally, and Hirsch was named a third-team Look All-American. He was also a first team All-Big Ten selection.

Following college, Hirsch was a first round draft pick (No. 5 overall) by the Cleveland Browns, but chose to play in the All-America Football Conference with the Chicago Rockets, where he battled through injuries for three seasons. When the AAFC merged with the NFL, Hirsch joined the Los Angeles Rams and became a star.

Hirsch was named to the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team, and the NFL 50th Anniversary All-Time team. In 1968 Hirsch was enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame, the first Badgers player to earn the honor. He and Mike Webster remain the only two former Badgers to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Hirsch was UW’s athletic director from 1969-1987. He passed away January 28, 2004, of natural causes.

Jared Abbrederis makes a visit to the Wisconsin Badgers sidelines during the 2014 match up with Nebraska. Jim Oxley photo

Jared Abbrederis: Following high school, Jared Abbrederis walked on at Wisconsin, and spent his redshirt season as a scout team spread offense quarterback. He eventually switched to wide receiver, and became one of the best in school history

His 202 career receptions tie him with Brandon Williams for most in Wisconsin history, and he sits behind only Lee Evans (3,468) for career receiving yards with 3,140. He is tied with Tony Simmons with 23 career receiving touchdowns, also second in school history behind only Evans.

He was more than a wide receiver, though, as his 4,818 career all-purpose yards rank eighth in school history, and he’s in the top 10 in school records in numerous return categories.

He was awarded the Burlsworth Trophy, given to the most outstanding college football player who began his career as a walk-on.

Next: All-Time Team: Kickers