The man who made playing running back at Wisconsin cool is Ron Dayne. From the late ’90s through now there has been a dominant back at Wisconsin and it all started with Ron Dayne.
It wasn’t just being a great running back that made Dayne’s legacy what it is today. It was the style in which he ran. He was a tank and he ran behind other tanks. The offensive line culture is as strong as ever at Wisconsin too and it goes back to Dayne’s era. One is good without the other, but the combination of a great back and great line has made Wisconsin football what it is today.
Dayne had the greatest statistical career in college football history running for 7,125 yards over his four years. He won the Heisman Trophy and was an integral part of Wisconsin winning back-to-back Rose Bowls during his career. Wisconsin was put on the map, thanks to him. Being a running back at Wisconsin was cool, thanks to him. The culture that makes fans proud of Wisconsin football can be traced back to him and the solid foundation he laid.
Wisconsin may still be a great program if Dayne never laced them up for the Badgers, but it is definitely not lost on fans of the program what he did for the Cardinal and White.