Based on the rave reviews that flowed out of Mobile, Ala., all week, it should come as no surprise that three Wisconsin football players were among the stars of the Senior Bowl on Saturday.
RB James White was named the North team's Most Outstanding Player after leading this squad in rushing with 62 yards on 11 carries and scoring the North's only touchdown -- a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter.
White also led the North with a team-high five receptions, while Badgers TE Jacob Pedersen led the team in terms of receiving yards with 46 on four catches.
Defensively, LB Chris Borland paced all players with eight tackles, including one for loss, and forced a fumble -- no surprise for the man who finished his career with the second-most forced fumbles in FBS history (15).
The Badgers' North team finished on the wrong end of the 20-10 final score, but it was clear UW's contingent -- including WR Jared Abbrederis, who had to withdraw from the game a hamstring injury -- were all winners.
The consensus of those covering the week of practices was that Abbrederis was the best receiver and Borland the most impressive linebacker. White also drew a fair share of praise, while Pedersen underscored his reputation as a reliable receiver and blocker and Southward (who had two tackles in the game) confirmed his flexibility in the defensive backfield.
Combine the performances of those five this week with the favorable impressions left by TE Brian Wozniak at the NLFPA Collegiate Bowl
and NG Beau Allen at the East-West Shrine Game
and the Badgers' seniors have maximized their chances to improve their draft stocks.
For now, it's back to preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine, which is set for Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis. The Badgers will also host their annual Pro Day in early March.
Senior Bowl Coverage
- Final Stats
- Photo Gallery (NFL.com)
- Highlights (NFL.com)
- Borland's Senior Bowl Blog
What They're Saying...
- White caught the eye of NFL.com's Mike Huguenin
during the game and should benefit from being so productive at UW despite sharing carries with John Clay, Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon: "...one selling point is that because he has shared carries, he has a lot of tread left on his tires."
- Before the game, White talked about his versatility
with Packers beat writer Ty Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "That's one big thing coming out of Wisconsin," White said. "It's always, 'He's running behind an NFL offensive line.' I wanted to come out here and showcase my ability to make people miss and showcase my burst. Prove it all."
- NFL.com's Chase Goodbread pointed to Borland
as one of the big "winners" from the game.
- Borland was also one of the week's big winners
in the eyes of Brent Sobleski of USA Today: "From the moment Borland stepped onto the Senior Bowl practice field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, he was in control."