January 8, 2009

Graham to return for senior year

MADISON, Wis. - Just one day after tailback P.J. Hill declared himself eligible for the NFL as a junior, teammate Garrett Graham announced his intentions to return for his senior season.

Both players submitted paperwork to an NFL advisory committee and based their future football decisions from the results.

As a first-team All-Big Ten media selection and second-team selection by the coaches, Graham led the Badgers in receptions (40), receiving yards (540) and receiving touchdowns (5). By returning, Graham will be reunited with teammate Lance Kendricks. Both those players helped fill the void left by an injured Travis Beckum before Kendricks suffered an injury himself.

"We are excited for both players," Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said in a UW athletic communications press release. "I know that Garrett is looking forward to completing his time at UW and improving for his senior season and we are thrilled to have him returning.

"I wish P.J. the best in the future and want to thank him for all his hard work during his time as a Badger. He's a great running back and I think his numbers speak for themselves."

Hill finished his career in third place on UW's all-time rushing list. His 3,996 career rushing yards helped him join Ron Dayne as the only Badgers in school history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in each of their first three seasons.

After gaining 140 rushing yards against Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl, Hill felt now was as good a time as ever to take his talents to the professional ranks.

"I just feel the time is right for me to take the next step in my career," Hill said. "I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and the Badger fans for the great experience I had during my time at UW."

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