MADISON - As many as seven former University of Wisconsin players could hear their name called next week during the NFL Draft in New York. And while UW coach Gary Andersen has likely been the point of contact for clubs looking to learn more about a Badgers’ player, some have also reached out to former coach and current UW athletic director Barry Alvarez.
“I still have people call me,” Alvarez said Thursday on Bud Light’s In the Trenches on 100.5 in Madison. “Scouts and friends that want to stop by and visit or pick up the phone and call. (Seahawks offensive coordinator and former UW quarterback) Darrell Bevell called last week and wanted to talk about (nose guard) Beau Allen.”
Among the players expecting to hear their name is Chris Borland. The former UW linebacker racked up 112 tackles in his senior season, while being named the Big Ten defensive player of the year. And if the 5-foot-11 Borland was two-inches taller, he’d likely be a first-round pick. As it is, he’s unlikely to make it past the second round. That’s despite a report this week by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that one team had taken Borland off the board due to an old shoulder injury, that they say, would require surgery. Alvarez isn’t buying it.
“Let me tell you what happens every year, if you follow it, every year at this time,” he said. “If you’re interested in him, you leak that. You try to find a chink in the armor, so that he maybe slips in somebody else’s eyes. But these other guys, they’ve studied it. They know that shoulder inside and out. If they’re interested, they know that shoulder is good. What that guy says doesn’t make any difference. It’s somebody spouting off for their ego.”
Borland played with a torn labrum during his freshman season of 2009 and had surgery in the offseason. He played in two games in 2010 before reinjuring the shoulder and having surgery again. He didn’t miss a single game in his final three seasons due to the shoulder, though hamstring injuries did cost him a total of three games in his final two years.