The Big Ten Network has begun laying out the members of their all-decade team football team. This team is voted on by a panel of experts and different positions are rolling out each day over the next week. Today, they started with running backs and linebackers. They selected a couple of Badgers.
Jonathan Taylor (2017-2019)
There were two running back slots available and you had to assume at least one Badger would make it. Montee Ball, Melvin Gordon, and Jonathan Taylor all had a great shot to make the team. Taylor was selected over the other two former-Badgers. Along with Taylor, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley was picked.
Although he left a year early to enter the NFL Draft, Taylor left Wisconsin as the number two rusher in Wisconsin football history, and that’s saying something. He finished with 6,174 yards, just 951 yards behind Badger-great Ron Dayne. He would have had a good chance to break Dayne’s record if he stayed. After winning the Doak Walker Award in back-to-back years (2018-2019), Taylor definitely earned this spot on the Big Ten’s All-Decade Team.
Chris Borland (2010-2013)
From the opposite end of the decade, Chris Borland received honors for his great career in Madison. Borland’s career broke out in 2011 when he finished the season with 143 total tackles and two interceptions. Since that season, he was a continual presence in the middle of stout Wisconsin defenses.
He played in 40 career games in Wisconsin. During his time in Madison, he led all Badgers with 366 tackles. He even added on 12.0 sacks, two interceptions, and ten forced fumbles. He went on to become a 3x All-Big Ten selection from 2011-2013. In 2013, he was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Big Ten Linebacker of the Year, and First-Team All-American. The 49ers drafted him in the 2014 NFL Draft. He was an immediate presence in San Francisco’s defense before he abruptly retired after his rookie season.
Coming up next…
The Big Ten Network will continue to roll out its all-decade team this week. Next up will be the offensive line tomorrow, June 30th. Wisconsin, or “O-Line U,” should have one or two representatives. After that will be tight ends and defensive backs, then wide receivers and defensive lineman on July 2. They will round out the team on July 3 with the quarterback, kicker, punter, all-purpose player, and coach.
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