Calhoun skipping senior season to go pro


Published: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 1:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 1:51 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Brian Calhoun hopes his short but stellar stay at Wisconsin was enough to make a good impression on the NFL.

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Wisconsin running back Brian Calhoun, center, outruns Auburn's Travis Williams, left, and Josh Thompson for a 34-yard touchdown during the second half of the Capital One Bowl football game in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Jan. 2, 2006. Wisconsin won, 24-10.

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Calhoun, who played only one year for the Badgers after transferring from Colorado, announced Thursday he would skip his senior year to enter the NFL draft.

The 5-foot-10 running back said the decision came down to his belief he was ready for the next level _ and he anticipates being picked on the first day of the draft.

"It was time for me to make that jump," Calhoun said.

In his lone season with the Badgers, Calhoun became the second player in Big Ten history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in the same season and led Wisconsin to a Capital One Bowl win over Auburn.

Wisconsin came into the bowl game as a heavy underdog, but Calhoun rushed for 213 yards and a touchdown. He finished with 1,636 rushing yards on the season, fifth most in Wisconsin history, and 22 rushing touchdowns, a school record.

Calhoun acknowledged concerns that he wouldn't be able to take the pounding of the NFL at his college playing weight of 194 pounds. But he said he's already up over 200 and expects to play in the 205 to 210 range in the pros.

He proved he could take on a heavy load at Wisconsin with 348 rushing attempts, a season record and seventh-most in Big Ten history.

He also caught 53 receptions for 571 yards, both season records for a Wisconsin running back.

Calhoun said he expects some teams will want to use him as a third-down back to begin. But he envisions developing into the kind of tailback that can carry the ball 20 times a game.

"If I was a second-day pick, I wouldn't be entering the draft," said the Wisconsin native. "Obviously, I have a lot of faith in myself that I'll be a first-day pick."

Calhoun's decision leaves the Badgers with little experience at running back for the upcoming season. Backup Booker Stanley remains suspended from the team after his arrest in a fight with his girlfriend.

Sophomore Jamil Walker has 44 carries for 198 yards in his career.

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