Eagles keep former Wisconsin RB Corey Clement

He didn’t get taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like things will work out just fine for Corey Clement.

According to Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com, the former Wisconsin running back has made the Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster.

Clement ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns during the preseason, and added another 46 yards on seven catches.

A New Jersey native that grew up about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia, Clement performed at a much higher level than fifth-round pick Donnel Pumphrey, who had just 49 yards on 26 carries.

The news on Clement means the top four running backs from 2013 — James White, Melvin Gordon, Derek Watt and Clement — are all on an NFL roster to start 2017.

Other former Wisconsin players on the bubble that were able to stick included WR Jared Abbrederis (Lions), WR Alex Erickson (Bengals) and CB Darius Hillary (Browns)

Not every Wisconsin player was as fortunate, though, with a number getting cut this weekend.

QB Bart Houston (source)

OT Tyler Marz (source)

RB Dare Ogunbowale (source)

S Dezmen Southward (source)

QB Joel Stave (source)

TE Austin Traylor (source)

OL Kraig Urbik (source)

WR Rob Wheelwright (source)

Former Wisconsin RB Dare Ogunbowale Joins The Joe & Ebo Show

MADISON | It’s an exciting time for a handful of Wisconsin Football players as the NFL Draft nears.

Eyeing up a professional career and possibly being drafted in just a few weeks, former Badgers running back, Dare Ogunbowale, joined the Joe & Ebo Show to talk about his future in the NFL.

Take a listen below:

Best of luck, Dare!

Catch the Joe & Ebo Show weekdays from 8a-11a on 106.7FM/1670AM The Zone.

Wisconsin 23, Nebraska 17 (OT): 2-minute drill

Game Balls

Offense: Dare Ogunbowale

Saturday night belonged to the senior running back. He carried the ball just 11 times but ran for a season-high 120 yards, the fourth time he’s topped the century mark in his career, with half of them coming against Nebraska.

Showing patience and some elite quickness, Ogunbowale sliced through the Huskers defense time after time, doing most of his damage on draws, exploiting an aggressive front seven. On his final carry of the night, he followed left tackle Ryan Ramczyk and center Michael Deiter around the edge of the Nebraska defense for an 11-yard touchdown that proved to be the winning score.

Defense: Ryan Connelly, Leon Jacobs

Tasked with trying to replace Jack Cichy, the heart and soul of the defense, the two inside linebackers flew all over the field, finishing with a combined 22 tackles, two tackles for loss and a couple pass break-ups. They weren’t without their flaws — outside linebacker Vince Biegel says they had some communication issues — but put in a difficult situation they played at a very high level.

Special Teams: Corey Clement

It what wasn’t a banner night for the special teams, Clement’s 24-yard punt return in the first quarter stands out. The senior was able to shake off some would-be tacklers and set the offense up with great field position at their own 49-yard line. Two plays later the Badgers were in the end zone to take an early 7-0 lead.

Tweets of the Night

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Video of the Night

Quote of the Day

“There was a sense of calm and confidence that (we) had coming out there.

“We were not going to let another close one — (an) overtime night game — slip by our fingers again.”

Linebacker Vince Biegel on the defense’s mentality as they took the field in overtime with a 6-point lead

In Case You Missed It

— Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglianone joined Nebraska kicker Drew Brown and the rest of the Huskers specialists for their pregame ritual of carrying the late Sam Foltz’s jersey to the sideline. Foltz, a punter at Nebraska, was killed, along with former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler, in a car accident in Wisconsin back in July.

— Redshirt freshman David Edwards, a converted tight end, made his first career start at right tackle in place of the injured Jake Maxwell.

— Cornerback Natrell Jamerson missed his sixth straight game as a result of a leg injury. However, the junior did take part in warm-ups and could be close to returning.

— Former Wisconsin defensive lineman Tim Krumrie was honored during the game for his enshrinement into the College Football Hall of Fame. Krumrie led Wisconsin in tackles in all four years he played, and was named All-Big Ten three times.

— Wisconsin used two different quarterbacks for a second straight week. Redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook got the start, but senior Bart Houston played significant reps and was in the game on the Badgers score in overtime. The two combined to 14 of 23 for 114 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

— Junior fullback Austin Ramesh sustained an arm injury in the second half and didn’t return.

Inside the Numbers

6 — That’s the number of freshmen the Badgers had on the field for Bradrick Shaw’s 21-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Along with four redshirt freshmen — Shaw, Hornibrook, Edwards and guard Jon Dietzen — a pair of true freshmen — A.J. Taylor and Quintez Cephus — were in the game as well.

37.2% — That’s Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong’s completion percentage in his three games against Wisconsin after managing to hit on just 12 of 31 throws on Saturday night.

3-2 — That’s Wisconsin Big Ten record, leaving them one game behind Nebraska in the West Division. If the Badgers win out, and the Huskers lose any of their final four games, Wisconsin will play for a Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis for the fourth time in six years.

10 — That’s the number of pass break-ups the Wisconsin defense had, including one that led to an interception.

What’s Next?

Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2) will travel down I-90/39 next Saturday to take on Northwestern (4-4, 3-2). The Badgers haven’t won in Evanston since 1999.

Preview: No. 10 Wisconsin at Iowa


The teams: The No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers (4-2, 1-2) vs the Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2, 3-1)

The time: 11 a.m. CDT, Saturday

The place: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Ia.

The TV coverage: ESPN with Steve Levy and Brian Griese in the booth, and Todd McShay on the sideline

The last time: Iowa forced four Wisconsin turnovers on their way to an ugly 10-6 win in Madison last year.

The series: Wisconsin 44-43-2

The line: Wisconsin -4

The Badgers injury report:


OL Jon Dietzen (leg)
WR Rob Wheelwright (leg)
FB Alec Ingold (arm)


OLB Zack Baun (leg)
CB Natrell Jamerson (leg)
NT Olive Sagapolu (arm)


1) How do you respond?

Following an agonizing overtime loss to No. 2 Ohio State, there is a legitimate concern outside of the program that Wisconsin will be unable to muster up the energy to go on the road and beat an Iowa squad that is starting to play some pretty good football. But that concern is not prevalent inside the the Badgers locker room.

“Of course it’s a disappointment,” running back Dare Ogunbowale said of the loss to the Buckeyes. “(But) we know we have to respond, so we’re going to.”

It helps that despite the loss to Ohio State, Wisconsin still has plenty to play for, including staying alive for a Big Ten West title and an outside shot at becoming the first two-loss team to make the College Football Playoff.

2) For the bull

Wisconsin and Iowa play for the Heartland Trophy, and as is the custom, the trophy sits on the sideline of the team that won it the year before. That meant last season, when Iowa beat the Badgers 10-6 at Camp Randall Stadium, they came streaming over to the home sideline to reclaim the brass bull for the first time since 2009. That moment is seared into the minds of Wisconsin’s players.

“It literally feels like someone is taking something from you,” wide receiver Jazz Peavy said on Monday. “You come into the locker room, we have the trophy cases and all that, and you see the trophies in there, and to not see one in there…someone took that from us and we definitely want that back.”

Since the trophy was first awarded in 2004, Iowa has a 5-4 advantage.

3) Proving it wasn’t a fluke

For the first time this season, and perhaps more accurately, the first time in Paul Chryst’s tenure, the Badgers were able to have success in the running game against an elite opponent. Wisconsin had 236 yards on the ground and averaged 5.1 yards per carry against the Buckeyes, a team that came in among the top 10 defenses in the country.

164 of those yards came from running back Corey Clement, who finally had his breakout game, becoming just the ninth player since 2000 to run for at least 160 yards against Ohio State.

“I was wondering when the time was going to come,” Clement said of his second 100-yard game this year. “I just tried to do what I could.”

Now Clement and the Badgers will face an Iowa defense that is allowing 151.9 yards per game on the ground. And while they held Purdue to a season-low 47 yards last week, the Hawkeyes have been susceptible in the run game, including giving up a combined 437 yards in its two losses this year.

“(The Ohio State) production needs to carry on into Iowa,” Clement said. “If we want to keep thinking about winning out the West (Division), we have to keep being productive on the ground.”

4) A growing opportunity

Alex Hornibrook says he ran the final play of the loss to Ohio State over and over in his mind in the twenty-four hours after it happened. The redshirt freshman quarterback was beating himself up for not at least giving his guys a chance on fourth down, instead taking a sack that ended the game.

It was another learning experience for the first-year signal caller, who was making just his third career start, and the Badgers are hoping moments like that will pay off down the road, starting this week in Iowa City.

“Definitely not patient with that,” Hornibrook said of his improvement. “I want to be as good as I can every single day and I’m working to be as good as I can be every day. I’m not waiting for anything. I’m going to improve on everything I can from this past week and this season and try to be the best me on Saturday.”

5) Biegel back, but Sagapolu to miss the game

There was a lot of excitement surrounding the return of Vince Biegel after he missed the past two games following foot surgery last month, and deservedly so. As one of Wisconsin’s captains and among their bigger playmakers, the outside linebacker should provide a physical and emotional lift for a defense held their own in his absence.

But the bigger story on the injury front was nose guard Olive Sagapolu being ruled out with an arm injury. At 340 pounds, the sophomore has been vital to Wisconsin’s success against power run teams, and they’ll face another on Saturday against Iowa.

Though rarely talked about, Sagapolu takes on double teams almost every play in an effort to keep blockers off the linebackers, allowing them to flow to the ball. Without him in the lineup, that task will fall to players that don’t have the same physical presence. Sophomore Billy Hirschfeld and freshman Garrett Rand are both under 300 pounds, while another possible replacement, starting defensive end Conor Sheehy, comes in at 295.

How Sagapolu’s replacements fare could very well be a deciding factor in Saturday’s game.


  • In the last four games between the two rivals, the margin of victory has been just 6.5 points
  • Wisconsin ranks first in the Big Ten and fifth nationally with just 3.7 penalties per game
  • After rushing for 164 yards against Ohio State, running back Corey Clement moved into 14th place in the Badgers record book for career rushing yards with 2,200
  • Wisconsin is on pace to have three players with at least 40 catches, which would be the first time since 2005 they’ve accomplished that.


Zach Heilprin’s prediction: Iowa 17, Wisconsin 14 (3-3 on the season)
Ebo’s prediction: Wisconsin 27, Iowa 14 (3-3 on the season)
Jake Zimmermann’s prediction: Wisconsin 31, Iowa 10 (4-2 on the season)
Joe Miller’s prediction: Wisconsin 21, Iowa 13 (3-3 on the season)
Eric Rogers’ prediction: Wisconsin 35, Iowa 21 (4-2 on the season)

(9) Wisconsin 23, Georgia State 17: 2-minute drill

Game Balls

Offense: Alex Hornibrook

Coach Paul Chryst said he wanted to give his offense a spark when he replaced starter Bart Houston with Hornibrook early in the third quarter, and that’s exactly what he got. The redshirt freshman came in and led a stagnant unit right down the field for a touchdown. After a drop led to an interception, and eventually Georgia State taking a 17-13 lead in the fourth quarter, Hornibrook once again drove the offense down the field and finished it off with the second touchdown pass of his young career. His fourth drive of the day resulted in a field goal, and his final one a first down to salt the game away.

For the day, the Pennsylvania native went 8 of 12 for 122 yards and the one touchdown. And now in two games, he’s 13 of 17 passing for 183 yards and two scores, giving him an efficiency rating of 194.0. For comparison, Houston, against admittedly superior competition by facing LSU in the season opener, has a rating of 128.0.

“I don’t know. I didn’t really compare myself at all,” Hornibrook told reporters when asked what he did better than Houston. “(The media) could probably tell me that better than I could. I was just trying to go in and drive our team down the field.”

Chryst said after the game that Houston is their starting quarterback, but he made no commitment to that being the case when Wisconsin goes to Michigan State next Saturday.

For Hornibrook, it’ll just be business as usual whether he’s with the first-team offense or not.

“It’s just the same as this week, same as the week before,” Hornibrook said about his expectations for the Big Ten opener. “If they tell me to go in, I’m ready to go. And if not, then I’m ready to sit on the sidelines and wait for that chance to go in.”

Defense: T.J. Edwards, Jack Cichy

The defense didn’t play to the level they had in recent weeks, but they did manage to stop Georgia State’s running game from doing anything, limiting the Panthers to just 33 yards and a 1.4-yard per carry average. That had a lot to do with their two starting inside linebackers, who combined for 19 tackles, including 11 by Edwards, who was making his first start of the season.

Special Teams: P.J. Rosowski

Could have gone with kicker Rafael Gaglianone here, but his missed 30-yard field goal at the end of the half loomed large in a tight game, so we’ll go with the kickoff specialist.

Rosowski had six kicks on Saturday and put five of them in the end zone, limiting Georgia State to just one return that ended up going for only 7 yards. For the season, Rosowski now has 13 touchbacks on 19 kickoffs.

Tweet of the Game

Video of the Game

Quote of the Day

“Just got done with the game. Like I said, Bart’s our starter right now. I’m proud of what Alex did and how he came in. I’m not planning anything right now other than appreciating this win.”

Chryst when asked whether Hornibrook or Houston would start against Michigan State

In Case You Missed It

— Wisconsin’s captains for the day were seniors Vince Biegel, Leon Jacobs and Dare Ogunbowale, with former Badgers Lamark Shackerford and Mike Thompson serving as honorary captains.

— Running back Corey Clement did not play in the game due to an ankle injury. He’s now missed 10 of Wisconsin’s last 16 games.

— Tight end Troy Fumagalli and backup running back Taiwan Deal each left the game in the first quarter with leg injuries and did not return.

— Kicker Rafael Gaglianone was limping after making his third and final field goal of the day. He was also seen limping when leaving the interview room.

Inside the Numbers

3-0 — That’s Wisconsin’s record so far this season, their first perfect mark through three games since 2011

9 — That’s the number of drives that Alex Hornibrook has led this year. Five resulted in touchdowns, one in a field goal, one in a turnover and two kneel downs.

8 — That’s the number of incompletions Bart Houston had on Saturday. A subjective look at the eight showed four were poor passes, three were dropped and one was broken up.

1 — That’s the number of touchdowns tight end Kyle Penniston has after catching his first career score in the fourth quarter.

0 — That’s the number of penalties Wisconsin had on Saturday — the first time since Nov. 2007 against Michigan that they didn’t have a penalty in a game.

What’s Next?

Wisconsin opens the Big Ten schedule with a trip to East Lansing to face Michigan State next Saturday.

Six players ruled out, Clement questionable for the Badgers

MADISON | The Wisconsin football team will be without at least six players when they take the field on Saturday against Georgia State.

The school released an injury report Thursday afternoon that listed a half dozen players already ruled out for the game, including left guard Jon Dietzen (leg), defensive end Billy Hirschfeld (leg) and cornerbacks Natrell Jamerson (leg) and Caesar Williams (leg). They also listed running back Corey Clement as questionable as he deals with an ankle injury.

“He was able to do some stuff on Monday and hadn’t done a lot since,” Chryst said of Clement. “If guys can play, we’re going to play them. I think they need to play, and they worked too hard for these opportunities to not play, but if (Clement) can’t go, I feel good with the ones at that position. I think we’ve had a good week of practice at the running back spot with Taiwan (Deal) and Dare (Ogunbowale) and Bradrick (Shaw).”

Chryst was asked if a decision on Clement’s health would be treated differently if they were playing Ohio State or Michigan as opposed to an 0-2 Georgia State team.

“It’s not different at all. That’d be pretty arrogant,” Chryst said. “If a kid can play, he’s going to play. Pretty simple, pretty straightforward.”

Without Dietzen, sophomore Micah Kapoi will likely get the start at left guard, while Williams being out means he won’t be a part of the group looking to replace Jamerson as the nickel defensive back. Instead, it’ll be junior Lubern Figaro or redshirt freshman Titus Booker.

Meanwhile, freshman A.J. Taylor is expected to get Jamerson’s kick return duties.

Kickoff on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium is set for 11 a.m.

Wisconsin football preview: Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers

MADISON | The Wisconsin football team will open fall camp on Aug. 8, so over the next few days we’ll be going position-by-position to preview head coach Paul Chryst’s second team in Madison.

Today we’ll take a look at the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers.


For a fifth time in the last six years, Wisconsin will enter fall camp without having named a starting quarterback.

The two options are senior Bart Houston or redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook. Each had their moments during spring ball, but very little will separate the two when they hit the field next Monday for practice.

Houston is the more experienced of the two, playing in 13 games over the last three years. But it wasn’t until last season that he saw extended action, filling in for an injured Joel Stave against Illinois. The California native threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns, but he also tossed a pair of interceptions in the end zone.

Entering his fifth fall camp, Houston has been through a lot in his time in Madison, including undergoing shoulder surgery as a freshman and being relegated to punting duties as a sophomore under the former coaching staff. Now, in his second year under the guy (Chryst) who recruited him it’s now or never.

On the other side is Hornibrook, who appeared in serious jeopardy of knocking himself out of contention for the job midway through spring. In one practice alone he threw five interceptions. But he closed nicely and is definitely going to give Houston a run for the starting gig against LSU.

Starting prediction: Bart Houston

I’ll go with Houston simply because of the experience, but it won’t be shocking to see Hornibrook win it. The coaching staff loves the mental aspect of his game, as well as an already well-developed ability to throw with anticipation.

Running backs

Wisconsin’s running game was not its usual self a year ago. The 150.3 yards per game they averaged on the ground was the fewest for a season since 1995. Some of that had to do with the revolving door of lineups along the offensive line, but not all the blame can go there.

Not having Corey Clement for nine games (eight with injury, one for an off the field incident) was a major factor. But he’s back now, fully healthy and weighing a robust 227 pounds. And unlike a year ago, when he was talking about rushing for 2,000 yards and heading to the NFL draft, Clement appears focused solely on the team.

If Clement stays healthy, the 1-2 punch of him and senior Dare Ogunbowale could make for an offense that is much more dynamic. A former walk-on defensive back, Ogunbowale ran for a team 819 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago, but was also a factor in the passing game catching 36 passes. Expect his role in that capacity to be expanded.

Redshirt sophomore Taiwan Deal was solid in his first of action, even though injuries cost him time midway through the season just as he was looking to become the lead back. Still, Wisconsin likes their top three players at the position.

Meanwhile, at fullback there will be three guys – junior Austin Ramesh, sophomore Alec Ingold and senior Leon Jacobs — vying to replace Derek Watt, who is now blocking for Melvin Gordon with the San Diego Chargers.

Starting prediction:
TB – Corey Clement
FB – Alec Ingold

Clement and Ogunbowale will see a lot of time on the field, and don’t be surprised if they are on the field at the same time. Wisconsin didn’t use the fly-sweep very much a year ago, but it could make a big comeback this season.

Ramesh is probably the best blocker of the three fullbacks, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see the position get the ball more this year. If that’s the case, then it’s advantage Ingold, who had 131 yards and six touchdowns as the short-yardage back last season.

Wide receivers

Before going down with an injury against Illinois, Robert Wheelwright was becoming the No. 2 target Wisconsin needed. He had 25 catches and three touchdowns through seven games. But he missed the rest of the regular season with a leg injury, leading Alex Erickson to end up with more catches (77) than the rest of the group combined. But Erickson is gone now, and it’s time for Wheelwright to live up to the promise he’s shown since stepping on campus.

Helping him do that will be Jazz Peavy. The redshirt junior was really good at times last year, including grabbing what should have been the game-winning touchdown against Northwestern. Now, with a full offseason void of injury, the Kenosha product will play a big role this fall.

Behind those two are where the biggest questions remain. Can senior Reggie Love put it together in his last go-around? Will a visibly stronger and bigger George Rushing build off a strong spring game and give the Badgers a deep threat? Can wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore get sophomore Krenwick Sanders to play up to his ability?

If Wisconsin doesn’t get the answers they want on those questions, they could turn to the three true freshmen – Quintez Cephus, A.J. Taylor and Kendric Pryor — that arrived this summer. Gilmore has said he’s not afraid to play first-year guys if they’re ready.

Starting prediction: Rob Wheelwright, Jazz Peavy

The battle for the starting spots really isn’t a battle. If both guys are healthy – and that is a big if – they’ll be UW’s top two targets on the outside.

As for the third wide receiver spot, I think it goes to Rushing. He’s got the ability to get behind a defense, and it appeared things started to click for him at the end of spring, including grabbing a pair of touchdowns in the spring game.

After that, it’s easy to envision Love, Sanders, sophomore Ricky Finco, redshirt freshman Henry Houden and potentially Taylor battling for the rest of the reps.

Tomorrow: Offensive line, tight ends

(Video) Dare Ogunbowale has an inspiring message at B1G Kickoff Luncheon

Wisconsin’s Dare Ogunbowale was selected to give the key note address at Tuesday’s Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago, and the senior running back didn’t disappoint.

A Milwaukee native, Ogunbowale took some playful shots at the media to open the speech, and then spoke about his journey from walk-on defensive back to being the Badgers leading rusher a season ago. But it was how he closed his remarks that resonated with those in attendance. He reminded the players in the room that their status as athletes should be put to good use — not just on the field but also outside of the stadium.

“Being in our position, we’ve been blessed with a collection of characteristics and gifts,” Ogunbowale said. “And through these roles we’ve been able to be solve problems, conquer obstacles, make people smile, and most importantly, be leaders. We are all leaders. So the next time you hear someone react to what’s going on in the world by saying, ‘Somebody should do something,’ know that you have everything that it takes to be that somebody.”

You can view the full speech below, as well as a transcript of his remarks.


Wow, the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon. I remember watching Big Ten Media Days back home in Milwaukee with my older brother as an incoming freshman. I was still home because I hadn’t yet found out I was going to be given a roster spot until midway through fall camp when one opened up. Still grateful he decided to quit.

Fast forward four years and now I am truly honored to be able to speak on behalf of my fellow Big Ten football players here at the kickoff luncheon, especially with Sam Foltz and Mike Sadler in our thoughts.

But today I know a lot more about “media day” than I did back then. Back when I was watching it at home with my big brother, I was like man it must be awesome to be sitting there getting asked questions by these awesome people holding microphones who just want to know all of these great things about you. Yeah…

I quickly realized these interviews are not as fun as they look on TV. I think it’s because some reporters just ask questions that they know the answer to. For example, “Was it difficult to have to replace Melvin Gordon last season after the record breaking season he had the year before?” Ummm … Did you not see what that guy was doing? I’m not sure if anyone could replace him. But I did have a little record of my own. I think that my last name was pronounced differently in every game this season. So yeah. Beat that, Mel.

Another one I heard a lot is “Why choose to walk on at a big school like Wisconsin rather than just take your chances at a smaller school?” This one is a little more interesting because I really didn’t have any other chances to play college football. I knew I wanted to go to Wisconsin whether I played a sport or not, but it just so happened to work out that I get to play in America’s number one college sports town.

My favorite question I get asked, however, is “Did you expect yourself to be in this situation four years ago when you were a freshman?” And no, I can’t say that I did from the sense that I didn’t expect to be on the offensive side of the ball. But as far as going from a walk-on designated special teams guy to becoming one of the leaders of my team, that was in my plan because I knew that I’d get the opportunities and I just had to take advantage of them when they were there.

And although not all of you guys started off as walk-ons like I did, I know that you all still had many opportunities that you took advantage of to get you to where you are today. Opportunities that many didn’t seize. We as athletes hear the word opportunity a lot. I’ve always been taught that an opportunity will wait for no one, but when preparation and opportunity meet, greatness can happen. And that’s exactly what’s filling this beautiful venue today. That is why you all are here representing your teams and your universities.

And through football I have been given the opportunities to do many things, but to me, none is more important than being a part of a team. Coming from a multi-sport background, when I finally started to play football as a junior in high school, I quickly saw how different it was. The team is everything, and I can’t be successful without the guy next to me doing his job correctly and him having the trust that I’ll do mine. But this extends past just X’s and O’s.

Coming together as a team off the field, we learn things. And what we find is that, no matter where we come from or what our lives were like before we got to campus, for all of our differences, we are the same in so many ways. Sports can have that impact… just look at crowds filling up our stadiums to watch us play, or look at everyone who has filled this room today to celebrate Big Ten football. People that some would say are different from one another – but in reality, we aren’t that different at all because we’re here for the same reason.

Because of our roles as college football players, we’ve been challenged with another task though, or as I see it, another opportunity. And that’s to use our amplified voices to help people view the world more like we do. You don’t have to look far today to see reminders of the things that divide us.

There are forces throughout our society acting to pull us apart — or remind us of how different we are from one another. The coaches and players in this room, and beyond, are blessed with a different perspective though. Every day we come together and have the opportunity to see past the differences on the surface and truly understand the ties that bind us all together as we pursue a common goal.

In our world, the things that make us different, the unique things that each member of our teams brings to the table, aren’t things that divide us – they’re the pieces that fit together to make us complete. Pieces that make us a team. Why not take mindset beyond the locker room? Beyond the stadium? Continue to carry it with you in your everyday life. But now encourage others to share the same view.

In close, what I’m trying to say is if we can use our qualities to take command in society just as we do on the field by standing up for what’s right, we can make a difference. A huge difference.

Being in our position, we’ve been blessed with a collection of characteristics and gifts. And through these roles we’ve been able to be solve problems, conquer obstacles, make people smile, and most importantly, be leaders. We are all leaders. So the next time you hear someone react to what’s going on in the world by saying, “Somebody should do something,” know that you have everything that it takes to be that somebody.

Thank you and On, Wisconsin.