Former Badger Ron Dayne to Receive Red Smith Award


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Wisconsin Badger and 1999 Heisman Trophy winner, Ron Dayne, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Red Smith Award, according to Banquet Chairman Mike Reese. This honor is given annually to an individual who has contributed or continues to contribute to sports either on or off the field in the state of Wisconsin. The presentation will be made at the 46th Annual Red Smith Sports Award Banquet on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, at 6:30 pm at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin.In one of his greatest recruiting wins, then University of Wisconsin football coach, Barry Alvarez, persuaded a heavily recruited, 270 pound New Jersey kid to play for UW. “The Great Dayne” went on to carry the ball 1,220 times while starting all four years at Wisconsin.
During his colligate career he gained 1,863 yards as a freshman, 1,421 as a sophomore, 1,325 as a junior, and 1,834 as senior, making him one of only five players to rush for over a thousand yards in four consecutive years. He still holds the NCAA Division-1 total rushing record with 6,397 yards.Dayne always saved his best performances for Wisconsin bowl games. He helped the Badger’s to a 1996 Copper Bowl win with 246 yards and the games MVP Award. In 1999 and 2000 he led the team to consecutive Rose Bowl victories, when he rushed for 246 yards and 200 yards, respectively, earning the MVP Award in both games. He became the only player in Big Ten history to win back-to-back Rose Bowl MVP’s.In the 2000 NFL Draft, Dayne was selected with the 11th pick by the New York Giants. With his powerful running style, he, along with the speedy Tiki Barber, formed the duo known as “Thunder and Lighting.” The Giants went on to play in Super Bowl XXXV. Dayne played five seasons with Giants before signing with the Denver Broncos in 2005. He finished his NFL career with two seasons (’06,’07) in Houston.

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