Ferguson is in the final year of his four-year rookie contract, being selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of LSU. He stands to make about $980,000 in the 2017 season.
The Bears moved on from Ferguson after injuries and suspensions limited him to 13 tackles, two sacks, and one start in his three years with the team. He was waived this season with an injury designation before officially being released last week.
After not appearing on the AP poll to begin the season, Wisconsin quickly shot up the boards following a 16-14 win over LSU to open the season at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
A big win over then eighth-ranked Michigan State put the Badgers in the No. 8 spot before Saturday’s only loss of the season. Michigan remains No. 4 after this weekend’s contest, while Michigan State’s surprise 24-21 loss to Indiana knocked them off the Top 25 completely.
WAUNAKEE, Wis. — Former University of Wisconsin running back and Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne has no issues with Corey Clement’s workload heading into the 2016 season.
Dayne spoke to the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network Friday night at his son’s high school football game and said the current Wisconsin tailback is just trying to prove that his 2015 campaign was a fluke. Clement will have a role taking punt and kick returns in 2016, in addition to the work he’ll see as the featured man in the backfield behind Bart Houston.
Clement missed eight games last season due to a sports hernia and another for an off-the-field incident. He’d like to not only put the past behind him, but increase his draft stock as he eyes the NFL following his senior year. The path to redemption starts Sept. 3 when Wisconsin hosts LSU at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
While Dayne watched his son Javian rack up over 200 rushing yards and five touchdowns in a 45-14 win over Monona Grove, he said the Badger defense will give the Tigers all they can handle in the season opener.
“[Wisconsin’s] linebackers and defensive line are crazy,” Dayne boasted. “I think they’ll be big time. We aren’t noticed right now, but I think we’ll be noticed in a little while. I think we’re going to give LSU a tough time.”
Wisconsin is considered by Las Vegas oddsmakers as a heavy underdog in the Sept. 3 contest — a potential loser by as many as 9 ½ points.
On Thursday, head coach Paul Chryst named Bart Houston the starting quarterback to open the season, which Dayne says he “thought that was the way [Chryst] was going.”
By Eric Rogers
Jan. 5, 2016 2:03 p.m. CT
BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana State University football introduced Dave Aranda as its next defensive coordinator during a Tuesday press conference.
Aranda comes to LSU after three years at the University of Wisconsin, where he led the Badgers to the second-ranked scoring defense during that span. The UW also allowed the fewest passing yards, fewest rushing yards, and least overall yardage.
“It’s always been a goal of mine to coach in [the SEC.] I’ve always looked at this conference as an elite conference. I look at this school and I see the skill level of the players. I see the intelligence of the players. I know they have great football smarts. I know they’ve been coached well.”
Aranda earns $1.3 million in the first year of his three-year contract with the Tigers, according to a FoxSports.com report. In his final year at Wisconsin, Aranda made $522,200 after bonuses, but his new agreement guarantees him an increasing pay scale each succeeding year of the deal.
“I want to take a minute to say thank you to [former UW coach] Gary Andersen, thank you to [UW coach] Paul Chryst, thank you to [UW athletic director] Barry Alvarez and thank you to the players on defense at Wisconsin,” Aranda said. “Whatever success that I was a part of, they were the main component there.”
Two of the favorites to succeed Aranda at Wisconsin are outside linebackers coach Tim Tibesar and Houston defensive coordinator Todd Orlando.
By Eric Rogers
Jan. 2, 2016 11:28 a.m. CT
MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin football team had barely gotten into the locker room after its 23-21 victory over Southern California in the Holiday Bowl when it learned its defensive coordinator, Dave Aranda, would be taking the same poisiton at Louisiana State.
Aranda led the Badgers to the second-best scoring defense in 2015 and the second-best in the three year span since taking Wisconsin’s coaching staff.
LSU coach Les Miles announced the hiring of Aranda Friday night.
“He’s everything that we were looking for in a defensive coordinator. He’s youthful with tremendous enthusiasm; our players are going to love him. He brings great defensive knowledge to our staff both as a technician and as a strategist. We are thrilled that he’s joining us.”
Aranda is set to become one of the highest-paid assistants in college football, although his salary information has not been released. Former LSU defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele, earned more than $1 million last season, while Aranda earned a $520,000 salary.
Wisconsin faces LSU to start the 2016 season Sept. 3 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.