Wisconsin RB Ball will stay for senior year

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is coming back for his senior season.

Ball announced his decision Thursday and said NFL evaluators told him he’d likely be a third-round pick in April’s draft.

Ball scored 39 touchdowns this season, tying Barry Sanders’ NCAA record. He finished the year with 1,923 yards rushing and 2,229 all-purpose yards, second best in Wisconsin history behind Ron Dayne’s 2,242 yards in 1996.

He rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown in the Badgers’ 45-38 loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Monday.

Ball’s announcement comes after Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst announced he would leave to take over head coaching duties at Pitt. Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad will join Chryst’s staff as offensive coordinator.