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There was Mohammed Ahmed's fifth-place finish in the NCAA cross country championship that helped spark Wisconsin to its fifth national team title the in sport, and first since 2005.
"One of the greatest moments of my life," he said.
There was Ahmed's run in the 10,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational that easily met the Olympic "A" qualifying standard and broke the school record by nearly 30 seconds.
"A lot of pressure was relieved from my shoulders," he said.
There was Ahmed's win in the 5000 at the Big Ten outdoor championships that was a meet record and one of two first-place medals UW captured in winning its first crown since 2007.
"The way we came together was true teamwork," he said.
And there was Ahmed's seventh-place finish in the 5K at the NCAA outdoor meet that validated his All-America status a second time despite limited training because of an Achilles injury.
"I wasn't happy with the way I finished, but running is a great metaphor for life," he said.
In other words, you take the good with the very good -- or the exceptional -- in Ahmed's case. Given his list of individual and team accomplishments, what would rank at the top of his list?
"Winning nationals as a team, that's number one," he said. "Cross country was a magical year. The title will be something I'll cherish for the rest of my life. It was a beautiful moment."
Beautiful, he said, because of the chemistry with Elliot Krause, Ryan Collins, Reed Connor and Maverick Darling. Beautiful because it rewarded coach Mick Byrne with a much-deserved title.
It was also beautiful, he said, because of what it told him about his running skills. "Finishing fifth told me that I belonged at the top of the NCAA," Ahmed said. "That helped me a lot."
Ahmed spent the indoor season "training very hard with the focus on going to the Olympics -- and with my first race (the Payton Jordan) I got that out of the way."
That's where the confidence gained from his success competing during the cross country season really kicked in -- in what was, at the time in late April, the fastest 10,000 meters race in the world.
"I thought to myself, 'If you can race with the guys in the NCAA, you can keep up with them, why not here?"' he said, convincing himself that "I can definitely do it."
That confidence carried over to the outdoor season and the Big Ten meet in front of the home fans. "Everyone was doing it for the seniors," said Ahmed, a junior from St. Catharines, Ontario.
Few, he noted, will ever forget senior Kyle Jefferson's true grit during his leg of the 4x400 relay.
"The amount of toughness that he displayed is going to be his legacy," Ahmed said, "and something we talk about every time we see each other or at team reunions.
"It didn't take one person to win the Big Ten title. It took everybody. It took throwers, distance guys, sprinters. Everybody came together. It was a great feeling."
Despite dealing with his Achilles injury, Ahmed is feeling much better in advance of Sunday's departure for Calgary and the Canadian Olympic Trials. He will race Wednesday in the 10,000 meters.
Ahmed is one of two runners who met the "A" qualifying standard. The other, Cameron Levins, who won the Payton Jordan event and claimed two NCAA titles, will compete in only the 5000, though he will double at the Olympics.
"Physically, I'm at a good spot; I'm not burned out yet, I still feel fresh," Ahmed said. "It's all mental now. And I'm going to treat this race just like it was any other race.
"I've learned that you've got to use the nervousness to your advantage. It's good energy if you use it to get ready. I'm not putting this race on a pedestal just because it's the Olympic trials."
Ahmed is looking forward to running for Canada in London.
In a sense, the truest sense, he said, he would be also running for the Badgers.
"Being a Wisconsin Badger," he said, "whether it's my identity on the track as a runner or that of a student, is something that is going to be a part of me forever and ever."
Darrell Bevell, Chris Maragos, Russell Wilson and John Moffitt have found a home with the Seahawks
Prior to Monday's Legends of Wisconsin golf outing, Darrell Bevell, Scott Tolzien and Chris Maragos were engaged in some good-natured banter outside the University Ridge clubhouse.
Someone mentioned that Bevell was one of the earliest if not original "legend'' -- the starting quarterback on the 1993 UW football team that returned to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1963.
Tolzien also took note of Bevell's "old school'' footwear that he once wore with the Badgers; high tops which fell just short of rivaling Herman Munster's boots. Bevell laughed.
Of course, Bevell got the last laugh in the 1994 Rose Bowl when he broke contain and "sprinted'' 21 yards for what would turn out to be the game-winning touchdown against UCLA.
Even Bevell had to chuckle at the verb. Sprinted? But his run was "legendary'' in that it links him with Mike Samuel and Brooks Bollinger as the only Wisconsin quarterbacks to ever win a Rose Bowl.
Meanwhile, the Badgers are coming off back-to-back trips to Pasadena thanks in large part to the contributions and leadership of their most recent starting QBs -- Tolzien and Russell Wilson.
Last season, Tolzien caught on with the San Francisco 49ers and served as the No. 3 quarterback behind Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Wilson is targeted for that same role, maybe better, in Seattle.
The Seahawks offensive coordinator is none other than the 42-year-old Bevell who has already seen enough of Wilson, a third round pick, to recognize that "he carries himself well --that 'it' factor.''
Seattle did their homework on Wilson. "We talked to him a bunch at the Senior Bowl, the combine and his own pro day,'' Bevell stressed. "There were a lot of things to like about him.
"He loves to play the game. He works hard at this craft. And he seems to have 'it.'''
Wilson put "it'' on display during the Seahawks recent minicamp in competition with Tavaris Jackson, the returning starter in Seattle, and Matt Flynn, the free agent pickup from the Packers.
Each quarterback got one day to work with the No. 1 offense.
"We're letting them all compete,'' said Bevell, echoing head coach Pete Carroll. "Russell came in and did well enough in rookie camp to put himself in the race.''
How will the practice snaps be distributed in training camp?
"That's a good question because it's not something we've done before; I don't think many people have,'' Bevell said of trying to maximize a three quarterback rotation during the drills.
"Just like we did in minicamp, we're going to spread the reps evenly and try to get them all in the same situations so we have something to compare.''
Some comparisons have been made between Flynn and his Green Bay mentor, Aaron Rodgers. "You can see some of Aaron's mannerisms, which is a positive thing,'' Bevell said.
Citing Flynn's "presence'', he also noted, "I see the veteran's knowledge that he has. He understands the game and his strengths and weaknesses. He also carries himself very well.''
Bevell and Jackson have been together the longest, dating to their days in Minnesota. "He's still learning and improving,'' Bevell said. "He's athletic and strong and coming off his best year as a pro.''
You could tell that Bevell almost anticipated the next question because he gets it so often.
What about Wilson's height?
"There are times when it will show up, without a doubt,'' Bevell said. "There are plays where you can see that it does (have an impact). But he's played with that (question) his whole life.''
Wilson has been listed between 5-10 and 5-11.
"That's who he is; that's what he is,'' Bevell said. "He knows his abilities -- when to move, when to slide and do all those different things in the pocket. Most of the time it won't show up.''
Maragos, a backup free safety for the Seahawks, offered a unique perspective.
"Maybe not a lot of people realize this,'' said Maragos, who's entering his third season in the NFL, second with Seattle, "but when I'm back there playing at deep safety in practice, he (Wilson) gets covered up by those linemen and I can't see where he is or where he's looking.
"As I'm backpedaling, I can't get a good read on what side of the field he's looking at to know which way I should lean. At that point, I'm at a disadvantage. A lot of times I see this little arm coming up over the top of the helmets. Usually I'm getting a slow break on the ball because I can't see him.
"Everybody has been talking about his height as a disadvantage. To me, I feel like it's an advantage having played against him a little bit now in practices. He also has a high release point and does a good job of extending the play. He might have had only one ball batted down.
"Boy, I tell you what, Russell has been very impressive for a rookie. Anytime you transition to a level up (from college to the NFL in this case), there's a big learning curve. But I was really impressed with the way he hit the ground running. Russell has that 'it'' factor. You can just see it.''
Jackson has some distinguishing characteristics, too. "He's got so much knowledge within the offensive scheme,'' Maragos said. "He knows his stuff and has a good command of the system.''
No one had to remind Maragos of Flynn's background with the Packers and Rodgers.
"You can tell that he's a savvy player,'' he said of Flynn. "He makes throws that are very difficult to defend. He'll drop back and he'll be looking right at the middle safety, seeing what I'm doing.
"Without looking to see where his receiver is, he'll just step, turn and throw -- he'll let it fly trusting his receiver and knowing where he's going to be. He's been taught well in Green Bay.''
Maragos has experienced his own learning curve. That's why this season is so important. "This is when you really start establishing your identity and the type of player you are in the league,'' he said.
"The next couple of years are going to be big in terms of continuing to establish myself and taking advantage of the opportunities I have -- hopefully laying a foundation for the years to come.''
As for the immediate future, Maragos will focus on his football skills camp, July 6-8, in Kenosha.
JJ Watt, DeAndre Levy, Brian Calhoun, Jim Leonhard, John Clay and Luke Swan are among the former Badger athletes who have provided instruction and, perhaps, inspiration.
Maragos, for one, has definitely been inspired by Leonhard, who kept "grinding and grinding'' during his early years in the NFL before finally somebody noticed and gave him a chance.
Maragos seems to have the same survival instincts, and timetable.
"No matter what your role is on the team, you always want more,'' he said.
Right now, the Badgers are four-deep in Seattle: Bevell, Maragos, Wilson and John Moffitt; who started at right offense guard as a rookie before getting injured.
Bevell sounded like he really enjoyed coaching under Carroll. Maragos, for sure, loves playing for him. "Oh, man, coach Carroll is awesome, he's the coolest,'' he said.
What makes him so cool? "He lets you play, he lets you be you,'' he replied, "and the guys play hard for him because they really respect him. He's a player's coach.''
Maragos also loves jabbing him about the UW connection. "I told coach Carroll we're finally starting to get some Wisconsin guys out here,'' he said, "guys who really know how to play football.''
Gabe Carimi, John Moffitt and Bill Nagy arrived together Monday morning for the Legends of Wisconsin Classic golf outing at University Ridge.
That seemed only fitting since the three former UW offensive linemen also "arrived together'' as rookie starters in the National Football League last season.
But that's not where the symmetry ended. Carimi, Moffitt and Nagy each sustained season-ending injuries after earning spots in the starting lineup for their respective teams.
What are the odds of that happening?
"Probably has never happened before and won't happen again,' 'suggested Carimi, a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears. Carimi dislocated his kneecap in the second game.
"That was just crazy -- that's the game (of football), though,'' rationalized Nagy, a seventh-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys. Nagy broke his ankle in the fourth game.
"That's a freak thing, isn't it? Probably illuminati or something,'' jested Moffitt, a third-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks. Moffitt tore his MCL and PCL, but not his ACL.
At least they had somebody to communicate and commiserate with during their rehabs.
Long distance bonding.
"I talked to those guys once a week,'' Nagy said. "They're some of my best friends.''
"We never really talked about the injuries,'' said Moffitt. "We just got updates.''
Since returning to Madison, "We've been hanging out the last couple of days, too,'' Carimi said.
Their friendship is strong enough to survive just about anything, Moffitt and Carimi ventured.
"We'll always talk,'' Nagy added. "We'll always stay in touch.''
Despite the injury setbacks, each is confident about their NFL future.
"I'm healthy now,'' pronounced Carimi after going through the OTAs and minicamp with the Bears. "It was rough having to sit on the sidelines. It made the season really long.''
But he noted all the rehabbing "has made the off-season really short.''
Carimi was cleared in May to resume full workouts.
"But you're always rehabbing,'' he acknowledged.
As a rookie on the injured list, you're always playing catch-up, too.
"There's a little bit of a detachment,'' Carimi said, "because you would have had a stronger bond with your teammates if you were playing with them the whole time.
"But I felt good about the way I played in the first two games (of the regular season before being injured). Did I answer all the questions? Not really. But it's good to have some success.
"I'm feeling comfortable playing right tackle; I'm feeling good about it.''
Some NFL pundits have contended that the success of Bears offensive line is dependent on Carimi's development and whether he anchors the group.
Does he feel such pressure, such expectations? "I can't say that's 100 percent true,'' he said. "An offensive line is a group of five guys. All of us need to play well.''
Going into the draft, Carimi was projected as a rookie starter. That comes with being the Outland Trophy winner. That was not the case with Nagy, who wasn't even a starter at Wisconsin.
Yet, he won a starting job with the Cowboys.
"It was a crazy process,'' Nagy reflected. "Because of the lockout, you just kind of showed up for training camp. Everything was going so fast you really didn't have time to think or be nervous.
"I think I probably did surprise some people. But I knew that I could do it. If you don't believe that, then you shouldn't be out there.''
Can his storyline serve as inspiration for other players who might have flown under the radar?
"I hope so, I really do,'' he said. "It just kind of shows that if you get an opportunity, it's in your hands. That's the big thing that I learned through the whole process. I just felt so prepared to compete.''
Nagy credited the UW football environment -- namely the rich tradition and history of Badger offensive linemen -- for facilitating a smooth transition to the NFL.
He's now working for a former UW offensive line coach, Bill Callahan, who was on Barry Alvarez' coaching staff in the early '90s and tutored the likes of Joe Panos, Cory Raymer and Joe Rudolph.
"Coach Callahan loved his time in Madison,'' Nagy said. "So we can relate.''
So can Moffitt, who's planning on training here until reporting to training camp.
"I love this place,'' he said."Our O-line tradition is the best in the country.''
The Legends of Wisconsin Classic dinner drew All-Americans like Paul Gruber and Joe Thomas.
Two current UW starters, Travis Frederick and Ryan Groy, took part in the golf outing.
"Groy is the most athletic offensive lineman I've seen here other than Joe Thomas,'' Moffitt said.
The Seahawks didn't draft Moffitt for his footwork as much as they wanted his toughness.
And he didn't disappoint, either.
"It's just crazy how much you can learn about football and how deep you can go into it,'' Moffitt said of his evolution. "You grow as a player; you become more mature as a student of the game.
"The thing is, everyone is so good across from you. Every week you're facing another great player that you have to gear up for; you have to learn him and how to play him.
"In college, there are some really good players. But there might be a few games in-between great players. You might play against Cameron Hayward from Ohio State one week.
"But you might not get another player like him for three or four games.
"In this league (NFL), you're playing against the best guys every week.''
Moffitt admitted that the injury rehab "was painful and it can wear on you mentally.''
But he's ready to prove himself all over again.
In this context, the three friends have arrived together at that same conclusion.
"I'm dying to get back to playing football,'' said Moffitt, speaking for Carimi and Nagy.
College basketball coaches have gotten their wish for more communication and contact with players during the summer. Ru ready 4 this? That includes unlimited texting and calls to recruits.
"I absolutely love it,'' said UW associate head coach Greg Gard. "It allows you to speak directly to the parents or the kids and you don't have to worry about anybody relaying a message.''
"It will help coaches get to know players better, and vice versa, they get to know you better. As long as everybody abides by the parameters, it will be good for college basketball and help the process.''
That would be the recruiting process. In the past, the NCAA limited calls between coaches and recruits to one or two a week. But it was very difficult to monitor and enforce.
"What we've found since the rules went into effect (June 15),'' said Gard, the UW's lead recruiter, "is that it's helpful to have multiple times during the day or the week to access prospects.
"You can have a short conversation and call them back later in the day, or tomorrow, or next week; however you want to do it. Now a dialogue can take place with the kids and parents.''
Besides unlimited texts and calls to prospects who have finished their sophomore year of high school, the NCAA is allowing coaches to send private messages through Facebook and Twitter.
UW head coach Bo Ryan is pragmatic about the changes.
"If a kid doesn't want to take your call, he doesn't take your call,'' Ryan said. "If a kid doesn't want to read your text messages, he doesn't read your text messages.''
Thx but no thx.
"I really would find it hard to coach someone for four years that constantly needed to be texted or tweeted or whatever,'' Ryan opined.
"In recruiting, I'm not looking for people who are so needy that they have to have someone talking to them -- or doing some form of communication -- 25 times a day.
"Be a teenager -- be a teenager.''
Ryan's plea is for kids to be kids.
"It isn't about the next step yet,'' he went on, "but when you're interested in a school, or a school is interested in you, then there are ways to communicate without being obsessive.''
Ryan is more excited about the NCAA allowing "court time'' in the summer. That amounts to two hours a week during the eight-week summer school session. Players must be enrolled to practice.
The Badgers held their first two-hour workout last Tuesday. Some coaches have elected to split up the time and hold two one-hour practices or three 40-minute practices per week.
Because of class schedules, Ryan said the two-hour window worked the best.
"We did a lot of competitive drills,'' Ryan said of the first workout. "I've already started to break that one down and some things we want to emphasize in the next one.
"We used it (the first practice) to get a little better idea of where the guys are -- those filling positions where you have guys graduating -- and who's stepping up in different areas competitively.
"You see, this is all we ever wanted as coaches, to have some kind of contact and be around our kids in the summer while they were playing; even if it was just to watch pick-up games.
"The fact that we can be on the court with them (two hours a week) is even better because now we can help them through some different situations.''
The old rules frustrated coaches who were left in the dark; out of the loop, if you will. "Unless our guys were working our summer camp, we didn't have any direct contact,'' Gard said.
There are just so many benefits to the NCAA relaxing those standards, he added, not the least of which is helping build more lasting relationships between the athletes and the coaches.
"It's not only good from the instruction and teaching standpoint on the court,'' Gard said, "but it also gives you more contact; such as helping the younger guys (freshmen) in their transition to college.''
That would be to the benefit of UW freshmen Zak Showalter and Sam Dekker, who was a member of the USA under-18 national team that won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Brazil.
"We're talking about two very talented and extremely competitive players who grew up being huge Badger fans and have worked extremely hard to put themselves in this position,'' Gard said.
"Anything they've gotten so far as high school players -- or will get down the road as college players -- will be because of their work ethic and the fact that they've both earned it.''
That would be the operative word in Ryan's vocabulary -- earn.
"There's never an excuse for not getting better (over the summer) whether we're teaching them on the court or not,'' Ryan said of a player's implied commitment to out-of-season development.
"We give them things -- the breakdown drills -- which they can work on.
"But this gives coaches a better understanding of the competitive level of the incoming guys and if there's been improvement since April with the returning guys; strength-wise and everything else.
"Still, they're going to have to do a lot if it on their own because two hours is nothing. Good players spent a heckuva a lot more time than two hours a week working on their game in the summer.''
Yet, he fully endorses the NCAA changes; the additional contact which adds up to eight hours a week (two on the court and six for weight-lifting and conditioning) while attending summer school.
"It's an historical period,'' Ryan said, "because basketball coaches have been fighting for this for a long time. (UW men's hockey coach) Mike Eaves asked me how we went about it.
"I just said, 'You have to keep knocking on the door,' because I can see other sports wanting to do this also. It just so happens in our sport we've been clamoring for it a longer period of time.
"If we have more contact with our players, it means that they're not running around with some of these third parties and runners and other people telling them things they don't need to be hearing.''
UW men's hockey assistant coach Gary Shuchuk is hoping that Davis Drewiske, a former Badger captain, will be treated like a King, a Los Angeles King, a Stanley Cup-winning Los Angeles King.
"As of right now,'' Shuchuk said, "it's a shame to be a part of a franchise and when they finally do win the Stanley Cup knowing that you're not going to get your name on that Cup.'
Shuchuk, a former King, understands that the Los Angeles organization would have to tweak the protocol because Drewiske didn't play in enough games to qualify for having his name on the Cup.
Drewiske, 27, skated in just nine games overall for the Kings this season and didn't see any action in the finals against the New Jersey Devils. His last actual game appearance was in December.
"He waited for his call,'' Shuchuk said.
And it never came whether through injury or coach's decision.
Sporting his No. 44 sweater, Drewiske still celebrated on the ice Monday night with his teammates following the Kings' first Stanley Cup-clinching win in franchise history, dating back to 1967.
"I hope the Kings are able to do something to get his name on the Cup,'' Shuchuk went on. "I got to know Davis and he's a great young man and leader. When he wasn't playing, he never asked for a trade, never complained. He went to the weight room and to practice and he waited for that call.
"They brought up another kid from the minors and Davis didn't get his chance. That's just the business. But he was a part of the organization; probably a big part of the scout team against the Devils; so he helped make those guys better in practice and had something to do with winning the Cup.
"Davis is going to get a big, beautiful huge ring that he's never going to wear because they're so massive and gaudy. I just hope the Kings can do something to get his name on the Cup. Talk to some of the guys who have done it, like Adam Burish (another former UW captain). It means a lot.''
Why is it so important to be formally recognized on the Stanley Cup? "There's the mystique of the Cup,'' Shuchuk emphasized. "There's all that history and when you have your name on the Cup you become a part of that history, and they can never take that away from you.''
Have you ever heard anyone ever talking about the Lombardi Trophy in the same reverent tones, he then asked rhetorically. "I don't even know what they call the baseball trophy,'' he added. "But when I was growing up in Canada (Edmonton) all I wanted to do was get my name on the Cup.''
Shuchuk came close in 1993 as a member of the Wayne Gretzky-led Kings that lost in five games to Montreal in the Stanley Cup finals. Shuchuk had an impact on the post-season run by scoring the game-winning goal in double-overtime against Vancouver in Game 5 of the Smythe Division finals.
Not that he remembers the specifics.
"Midway through the first period, I was coming through the middle of the ice and Gerald Diduck laid me out with an elbow to the jaw,'' Shuchuk said of the Canucks' 225-pound defenseman.
"I came out of the game and I didn't know what hit me.
"They gave me some smelling salts on the bench and when our coach, Barry Melrose, came over and asked, 'Are you OK?' I said, 'I'm ready.' I'm not going to lie, I was real foggy.
"I played the rest of the game and I can remember being out there (for the overtimes). It wasn't like I totally blacked out or anything like that.
"But when I got interviewed afterward on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), I had to look at the teleprompter to see how I had scored because I honestly didn't know what happened.''
Shuchuk, now 45, has never forgotten the friendships that he made with those Kings.
He's still very close with Melrose, an ESPN analyst; and Tony Granato, a former UW center and NHL assistant. Occasionally, he'll cross paths with his old roommate, Mike Donnelly, a Kings scout.
"The hockey world is so small that I still get to see some of my ex-teammates,'' he said, listing Kelly Hrudey, Charlie Huddy, Corey Millen and Rob Blake, among others.
During his four seasons in Los Angeles, Shuchuk and his wife Michelle got to be friends with actor Ted McGinley and his wife Gigi, who's also an actress.
Among his roles, McGinley was Roger Phillips, the gym teacher, in the "Happy Days'' sit-com. Later, he was Jefferson D'Arcy in "Married ... with Children'' and Charley Shanowski in "Hope and Faith.''
"I'd get him tickets to the Kings and we'd go to the tapings of Married ... with Children,''' Shuchuk said. "We keep in contact all the time through our kid's graduation and birthdays.''
Shuchuk is still loyal to the Kings.
"I've always had a special place in my heart for them,'' he said. "I lived in Los Angeles. My son was born there. It was a special time in my life and I still feel like I'm a part of the organization.''
He was delighted to see Kings announcer Bob Miller, a Hall of Famer, finally get a chance to hoist the Cup. Miller was the original voice of Badger Hockey before relocating to the West Coast.
"Over the last 19 years,'' Shuchuk said, "I've always cheered for the Kings.''
One of his many acquaintances during his playing days was the late John Candy, a Canadian actor and comedian. Prior to the '93 finals, Candy gave each of the players a bottle of champagne to toast winning the Stanley Cup. Shuchuk still has his unopened bottle.
"It came from a special person and it means a lot to me,'' he said.
Resisting the temptation to pop the cork after Monday's game, Shuchuk said that he plans on not opening the champagne "until the time is just right ... maybe when we win in Pittsburgh, I'll crack it open then.'' Pittsburgh is the site of the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four.
After last month's announcement of the 2012 induction class for the College Football Hall of Fame -- a collection of 17 former players and coaches -- there were a number of passionate and persuasive arguments made for those individuals who had been "snubbed'' by the selection committee.
At the top of nearly everyone's list was Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, who put the Cornhuskers in a position to win three straight national championships. As it was, he "settled" for two NCAA rings ('94-95); twice winning the MVP award in the Orange Bowl, and once in the Fiesta Bowl.
Overcoming a series of injuries, Frazier was Tebow-esque in his final appearance as a collegian. While completing just 6-of-14 passes for 105 yards, he rushed for 199 in Nebraska's convincing dismantling of a Florida team coached by Steve Spurrier. The final score was 62-24.
Despite his pedigree as a champion, Frazier hasn't scored with the Hall of Fame voters yet.
Neither has former UW nose guard Tim Krumrie, a two-time All-American (1981-82).
Krumrie was one of 20 former Big Ten players on the 2012 ballot, which featured 76 names overall, including Purdue running back Otis Armstrong, who played in the early '70s and made the final cut. Besides Frazier and Krumrie, Ohio State fullback Jim Otis came up short in the voting process.
Nose guard and fullback are not sexy positions to anyone's thinking.
That might be one of the elements conspiring against Krumrie and Otis.
Yet in spite of playing in the middle of such gridlock -- in the heart of the trenches -- Krumrie put up numbers worthy of Hall of Fame linebackers and safeties. Krumrie, a three-time first-team All-Big Ten performer, finished his Badger career with 444 tackles, third best in school history.
That's a Hall of Fame area code, regardless of position, but especially for a nose guard. By comparison, Kansas State linebacker Mark Simoneau, a member of the 2012 class, had 400 career tackles. This is not an indictment of Simoneau, but an endorsement of Krumrie. Both are deserving.
That's the number of solo tackles Krumrie had during his UW career -- 25 more than Simoneau. Keep in mind, we're talking about unassisted tackles, solos. Krumrie had 276. That figure alone would rank him among Wisconsin's top 25 all-time tacklers, just ahead of Don Davey, who 267 tackles overall.
It's apparent Krumrie will have to wait his turn to be recognized by the College Football Hall of Fame. He's not alone. But hopefully he will not be penalized for being a nose guard who merely went on to play 12 seasons in the NFL during which he led the Cincinnati Bengals in tackles five times.
Upon being inducted in the UW Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, Krumrie acknowledged, "This is one of those things that you don't target or set as a goal. But if everything else falls into place and you have a good career, these things will come afterward.
"When I first came to Wisconsin, I was just trying to make the special teams, then trying to make the travel squad, then trying to be a starter. And from the start, I played every down, every day.
"Did I have all the special tools? No. But I always wanted to be known as a guy who always played hard, always gave his best and always played every snap.''
Let's not forget that, either. Nor him the next time that his name is on the ballot.
A year ago, UW men's track coach Ed Nuttycombe and women's coach Jim Stintzi were thrown for a loss when their "throwers'' fell short of expectations in the Big Ten outdoor championships.
Both are confident that Dan Block and Taylor Smith have learned something from that experience and will put their painfully acquired knowledge to good use this weekend in the field events.
"It's the proverbial saying,'' Nuttycombe said, "you learn more from trying situations - from tough situations - than you do from other situations. I think that's absolutely the case with Dan.
"It was very uncharacteristic of him to not perform at that big setting (fifth outdoors in the shot put). I don't think there's any way that he will let that happen again. He'll be ready.
"His co-hort in the discus - Alex Thompson - will be ready to go, too. He has really come along and he's a big-time meet type of guy who has done well at international junior settings.
"Hopefully, we'll get a Top Three or Top Four in each one of those events (shot put and discus). That will be a good day. Maybe one or the other does better, and we'll see a surprise in one, or both.''
Stintzi has outlined similar objectives for Taylor Smith and Kelsey Card in those events.
"I think the last couple of Big Ten meets, we've had throwers that have put a little bit too much pressure on themselves,'' Stintzi said. "Our motto is, 'This meet is no different than any other meet.'
"We can't approach it like it's the end of the world.''
The results this spring have encouraged Stintzi. "One of the things we're seeing is steady improvements in the throws,'' he said. "We're hitting our peak at the right time.''
How might the throws factor into the team competition for the men and women?
"Big at this meet,'' Stintzi said. "As a matter of fact, you don't want to say one area is going to matter more than another - but for both of our teams, it's just the direction that we've gone.
"Throws matter a lot to us. Ironically, everyone in the Big Ten got this idea at the same time and everybody is good at the same time.''
Nuttycombe cited an example.
"If you look at the rankings,'' he said, "I think the Big Ten has the vast majority of the best throwers in the entire western region of the country in the discus. It's super competitive.''
UW assistant coach Dave Astrauskas has seen a developing trend in the talent pool from the standpoint "throwers from the Midwest used to go to the coast, now they're staying in the Big Ten.''
"Last year at the junior championships,'' he went on, "it was dominated by kids who were already in the Big Ten and going to the Big Ten. So it's only going to get better.''
What are Astrauskas' expectations for his throwers in the Big Ten meet?
"I'm just expecting them to do what they've been doing all year and that's to throw well and throw near their competitive average,'' he said. "That's all I'm asking of them.''
Nuttycombe figures if the Badgers can maintain their status quo that they will be in the hunt. "But we have to hit on the events that we're ranked high in,'' he said, "and hope that's enough.''
The shot put and discus would qualify in Nuttycombe's context.
"I think Dan Block is going to throw well in both,'' he said. "He's coming on at the right time.''
On the 10th-anniversary of Wisconsin's dramatic, come-from-behind Big Ten men's outdoor track and field championship in Madison, coach Ed Nuttycombe had a snap shot in mind - "I still remember it vividly" he said - that matched a cherished photograph on his office desk at Kellner Hall.
Pictured are Isaiah Festa, Matt Tegenkamp, Josh Spiker and Nick Winkel following the 5,000 meters, the second-to-last track event on the final day of the meet. Because the Badgers trailed first-place Minnesota by 24 points going into the 5K, they almost didn't get a chance to run the race; the story within the story.
"It was very memorable," Nuttycombe said.
It was one of his most memorable Big Ten titles, he confided.
That covers a lot of ground (28 years) and championships (24).
But the final round didn't start out very memorable in the 2002 meet.
The Badgers had an early lead in the 400 relay but had to settle for third after a botched exchange. In the very next event - the 1,500 meters - Spiker was running third behind Michigan's Alan Webb and Indiana's John Jefferson when he stumbled and fell about 30 meters from the finish line. He ended up seventh.
Given this backdrop, Wisconsin looked like a long shot to catch the Gophers, although the Badgers had shown their resiliency the year before. In the 2001 Big Ten outdoor meet in Bloomington, Ind., they rallied past Ohio State, 135-117.5, for the team crown despite winning just two individual titles.
T.J. Nelson won the 110-meter hurdles and automatically qualified for nationals by running the third fastest time (13.49 seconds) in the country, while Festa outdistanced Ohio State's Rob Myers down the stretch to win the 1,500 meters. Festa also took a second and Jason Vanderhoof a third in the 5,000.
Clinching the overall title - the UW's fifth outdoors in seven years - on the strength of Festa and Vanderhoof combining for 14 points in a clutch situation, Nuttycombe said afterward, "Our 5,000- meter guys ran with a lot of heart."
Remember those words because they would resonate again in the very same event at the 2002 Big Ten meet on the McClimon Track; the last time that the UW played host to the outdoor track and field championships in Madison.
All the Badgers needed was a spark, according to Nuttycombe, to help reverse the momentum generated by Minnesota, which had been the only league program outside of Wisconsin to win outdoor titles since 1995. (The Badgers, in fact, were trying to pull off their second three-peat over an eight-year span.)
In order to put some pressure on the Gophers, the 1998 and 1999 team champion, someone had to "step up" and that's exactly what happened with Jon Mungen winning the 110 high hurdles and B.J. Tucker taking second in the 100. Len Herring also produced some valuable points with a second in the triple jump.
The real catalyst, though, was freshman Dan Murray who came out of the pack - fourth place - over the final 200 meters to win the 800. Murray not only set a track record (1:48.2), but posted a provisional NCAA qualifying mark. In the process, he seemed to inspire his teammates.
But the math still didn't add up.
Minnesota had the team lead - 135-110.5 - over Wisconsin.
Going into the 5,000-meters, Nuttycombe admitted, "We considered pulling some of the better guys out of the race to save their legs for nationals. We didn't want to extend them if there was no need to, and we told them that."
Nuttycombe and Jerry Schumacher, then the cross country and distance coach, merely attempted to paint a realistic picture for their 5K racers.
"After we told them what we were considering," Nuttycombe said, "they go, 'No way. We're not going to let you do that.'"
What followed was another reality check from Nuttycombe.
"Guys, we've got to do almost the impossible (to catch Minnesota)."
They responded by asking, "What do we need to do?"
"We need to go one, two, three, four in the 5,000."
"Coach, we're going to do it."
Festa and Tegenkamp went out and finished one-two in the 5,000, while Spiker was fourth and Winkel was fifth. That was close enough to fulfilling Nuttycombe's challenge, and good enough to pick up 27 points in the event.
Then it came down to the final event, the 4 x 400-meter relay. Minnesota was the top seed and Nuttycombe instructed his runners, "If you can't win, you can't allow more than one team between us and them (the Gophs)."
Actually, the Badgers could have finished lower than third and still won the meet but Nuttycombe was determined to pull out all stops in motivating his relay team: Jvontai Hanserd, Ricardo Rodriguez, Gustin Smith and Jabari Pride.
"We chased Minnesota around the track," Nuttycombe recounted fondly.
The Badgers finished second in the relay, and won the outdoor title.
"It was very memorable, not only for winning," Nuttycombe said.
But it was memorable, he observed, for not throwing in the towel on the 5,000 meters; memorable for not underestimating Festa, Tegenkamp, Spiker and Winkel; memorable for not denying them an opportunity to race.
Nuttycombe is reminded of that moment every day. "There's that picture right on my desk - one of my favorite pictures - of those four guys with their arms around each other right after the finish," he said. "That was awesome."
A 10-year anniversary worth celebrating this weekend in Madison.
A spring football intrasquad game often takes on the appearance of a "futures" game - similar in some respects to what is staged during the All-Star break by Major League Baseball.
Instead of a collection of minor league all-stars, you are treated to a number of freshmen - from the recruiting class of 2011 - that redshirted last fall and functioned in anonymity on the scout team.
Some of these redshirts carried higher profiles into spring practice than others, most notably quarterback Joel Stave and tailback Melvin Gordon, who was coming off a medical redshirt.
Stave and Gordon distinguished themselves in last Saturday's scrimmage at Camp Randall.
Two other redshirts are less recognizable but distinguishable by their football DNA.
No. 41, Jesse Hayes, is the son of Jay Hayes, a former UW assistant under Barry Alvarez and the defensive line coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.
No. 99, James Adeyanju, is the brother of Victor Adeyanju, the former Indiana Hoosiers defensive end and fourth-round pick of the St. Louis Rams.
Both are defensive ends. Neither is quite ready for prime-time.
"Two springs from now," said UW coach Bret Bielema, "I can see them being dominant players."
Defensive line coach Charlie Partridge could see them contributing sooner than later.
"I would not put them in the top three or four defensive ends right now," Partridge said. "But if they have a great summer and they come into training camp at a high level, they could climb into it."
If you were to grade that position group this spring, Partridge pointed out, you would have to give it an "incomplete" because of the absence of David Gilbert, who's recovering from foot injuries.
"We know what David can do and bring," Bielema said.
Gilbert can bring pressure; he can be one of the better edge rushers in the Big Ten.
"I'm also excited about Brendan Kelly," Bielema added.
After Gilbert was injured last season, Kelly took over at defensive end opposite Louis Nzegwu.
Kelly got eight starts and Pat Muldoon got two.
Gilbert, Kelly and Muldoon are UW's top three defensive ends.
"There's a separation after them," Partridge admitted.
Konrad Zagzebski, a redshirt sophomore, has yet to rise to that level because of injuries.
However, he has drawn some attention to himself with his jersey number, No. 74.
That once belonged to UW rush end Tom Burke, an All-American.
While not in that class - few are - Zagzebski has made a favorable impression.
Based on what he showed this spring, Partridge said, "Zags continues to get better."
That also holds true for Hayes and Adeyanju.
"I was really excited about the progress that they made in the last week of spring ball," Partridge said. "Without question, they are a ways off. But they're getting better and learning the game.
"There's so much fundamentally that you have to be good at to play at this level. There's just a lot that goes into being a full-time defensive player; mentally and certainly physically."
Bielema has gotten a glimpse of what they can do, and he likes their promise.
From a technical standpoint, Bielema said, "Jesse (Hayes) keeps his play-side hand and leg free as good as anyone I've ever seen. He's very athletic."
Very undersized, too, though he's getting bigger. Hayes reported at 220 pounds.
"When I came in, I looked like a receiver," he conceded.
Hayes has gotten his weight up to 250 pounds. He'd like to play at 260 or 265.
Adeyanju is also carrying around 250 after putting on 20 pounds since last August.
"I want to retain my speed and quickness while I build muscle," he said.
Lining up opposite Ricky Wagner and Josh Oglesby was an education for Adeyanju.
"It made me so much better," he said. "I really appreciated going against those guys."
While on the scout teams, Hayes not only learned from battling the offensive tackles, but he learned from watching former UW quarterback Russell Wilson handle his business, on and off the field.
"I liked the way he carried himself," he said. "He was someone to look up to."
In the end, the Badgers don't have to accelerate the learning curve with Hayes and Adeyanju.
They can afford to be patient, and wait.
"I don't know how much they will help us," Bielema said, "especially with David coming back."
But he wouldn't rule them out, either; he never rules out anyone if they can show they can play.
And they will both get that chance in training camp. "All it takes is hard work,'' Hayes said.
There have been mornings when UW softball coach Yvette Healy has arrived to work at Camp Randall Stadium only to find some of her players working out in the weight room or running stairs.
To see them working overtime on their own -- to see them doing all the little things that are important to stability and success -- is a sign to Healy that her second-year program is arriving.
"It's great to see softball starting to take a lead from what women's hockey has done and some of the other great programs here have done as far as putting in all that extra work,'' Healy said.
"Some players thought they were working hard and didn't really know what it feels like to work hard at a BCS-level program, so they've kicked it into gear.
"It's a culture thing. You don't want it to be just one or two kids who are taking it seriously and are emotionally invested. You want it to be everybody -- but we're getting there.
"We still have some who are in the phase where the light bulb is turning on. We'll arrive as a program when our entire roster, from top to bottom, has that sense of urgency for 12 months.''
The Badgers have made positive strides in that direction on the diamond by playing themselves into contention for a Big Ten championship and an NCAA tournament bid.
"It's exciting in the month of May for this program to be in the hunt (for a league title),'' Healy said. "That we're in the conversation is already a huge step for the program.''
Especially when you consider the company that they're keeping; the Badgers are within striking distance of first-place Michigan in the Big Ten standings.
On being in such rarified air -- with the Wolverines here for a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday -- Healy has instructed her players to "embrace it, enjoy it; we're the underdogs.''
Perspective is not lacking.
"We just talked to the players about how Michigan has everything to lose here,'' she noted.
Wisconsin has never beaten Michigan in Madison.
"They've got all the history, they've got all the Big Ten championships,'' Healy said of the No. 23-ranked Wolverines, the NCAA champion in 2005. "They're a Goliath in the softball world.
"We realize that we're going against the best at the toughest time of the year. Still, we're excited to play them at home in front of all our fans on a big stage when it counts.''
Healy is undaunted by the challenge of facing Michigan and Nebraska on back-to-back weekends, even though the Badgers must travel to Lincoln, where the Cornhuskers are 13-0 this season.
"As a staff, it's exactly what we want,'' she said. "A lot of people would like to face some of the teams that are struggling. But you want to face the best if you really want to build a program.''
The first stage in the building process took place last season and extended to the off-season.
"We had some tough meetings with some players at the end of last year,'' Healy said. "They needed to make huge strides in terms of getting stronger, working harder and putting more time in.''
Among those players, Healy said, was Whitney Massey.
"That kid has made more strides than anyone,'' she said proudly of Massey's improvement. "She's done a nice job hitting out of the three hole and bringing a solid, left-handed bat to the line-up.''
Another player who has "stepped up her game'' has been Michelle Mueller.
"For as strong as she is, she didn't have any power numbers last year,'' Healy said. "But you could tell she was in the batting cage all summer. She's got a baseball family and she's a cage rat.''
Not unlike a "gym rat.'' There have been others who have responded in like fashion.
"You watch them play,'' Healy said, "and you know that they have lived it (softball) all summer long and all winter long; they've been in the weight room and in the cages and it's starting to show.''
Healy didn't pull any punches in her end-of-the-year meetings with individuals.
"Young players sometimes think you're just there to say all the nice things and cheer for them,'' she said. "But we have to be some of the most honest people in their lives.
"We tell them, 'Here's what you're doing well, here's where you're not cutting it. This is the expectation.' They really took it well. We kept it positive. Reality hurts some time; the truth hurts.''
Healy resisted the "no pain, no gain'' cliché, but she made her point.
So has her team so far this season. But an exclamation point is still missing.
"Beating a Top-25 team is the next step that you have to take,'' Healy said.