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July 21, 2014

Ready to follow in Ball's footsteps

Texas running back Davon Crookshank grew up idolizing Wisconsin all-American Montee Ball, the NCAA's career rushing touchdowns leader (83) and Doak Walker Award winner in 2012.

A 5-foot-10, 185-pound prospect from Fort Bend Marshall, Crookshank will have a chance to follow in Ball's footsteps in Madison after committing to the Badgers on Sunday.

"There were a couple of reasons why I chose Wisconsin," Crookshank told BadgerBlitz.com. "The first was the downhill running of the football, I think that suits me really well. And they always have a huge offensive line that I can't wait to run behind.

"Those were two huge reasons and my idol, Montee Ball, went there. Going to his same school was a great opportunity for me. He was definitely a player I try to model my game after."

Crookshank was recruited by Chris Beatty and Thomas Brown and committed to UW over offers from Baylor, Colorado, Kansas, Indiana and Memphis, among others. He is the 16th known verbal for Wisconsin and the first running back in its 2015 class.

"I got a call from my head coach while I was working out and he texted me right after that and said Wisconsin was ready for my commitment," Crookshank said. "I was pretty excited and I got on the phone with the staff and my position coach (Brown). They were all real excited to have me join.

"They want me to help them recruit some good players. There will be a few kids that I'm excited to recruit to Wisconsin. It's a big help because I can take the pressure off and focus more on school and football during my senior season."

As a junior, Crookshank rushed for 1,095 yards and 18 touchdowns and was also a track standout. He comes from the same high school as Knile Davis, an Arkansas graduate and third-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs.

"Most people know me as a downhill runner who can make a cut and break away, but I catch the ball out of the backfield," Crookshank said. "I'd really like to visit Wisconsin sometime this summer, but I'm not quite sure if that's going to happen. If not this summer I'll be there for an official visit this fall. I'm really excited to get up there."

The Badgers have already secured verbal commitments from three Texas natives in their 2015 recruiting class: defensive backs Xzavien Ausborne and Takadrae Williams from South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, and linebacker Chris Orr from DeSoto.

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