University of Toledo freshman tailback Quinton Broussard is about to be reunited with his older brother Michael.
Michael, a junior who started 12 games at strong safety for Wisconsin last year but had slipped to third-string in preseason drills, has left the Badgers' program and will transfer to Toledo.
“I'm happy to be a Rocket, and happy to be playing with my kid brother again,” Michael said yesterday from the Broussard family home in Carrollton, Texas.
“I'm happy we'll get to play together again too,” Quinton said after UT's morning workout.
Michael informed Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez of his decision to transfer Monday morning, and Alvarez released Broussard from his scholarship later the same day.
“I hate to see him leave the program, but he felt strongly about it,” Alvarez told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
When the Badgers opened preseason camp on Aug. 2, Michael was the starter at strong safety. But sophomore Jim Leonhard jumped ahead of Broussard the second day of camp, and sophomore Robert Brooks assumed the backup job a day later.
“I kind of fell out of the picture,” Broussard said. “I was getting less and less reps, so I figured I might as well get out of there and go somewhere where I could play.”
Michael, 5-10 and 205 pounds, started every game for Wisconsin last year and finished seventh on the team in tackles with 51. He also intercepted three passes, including one against Ohio State in a Wisconsin comeback victory.
The two-year letterman was one of just three freshmen to play in 2000. Broussard became the team's third cornerback midway through the year and finished with 11 tackles and one interception.
He initially was recruited by Wisconsin as a tailback after rushing for 3,242 yards and 34 career touchdowns at The Colony High School, where he was named all-state as a senior.
“He was the star running back in high school and I was the defensive back,” said Quinton, who is 5-9 and 180 pounds. “Now I'm the tailback and he's the defensive back. When he told me he was transferring to Toledo, I said, `I hope you're ready.'
“I can't wait to butt heads with him.”
“It should be fun,” Michael said.
Michael, who visited the Toledo campus with Quinton this summer, said he already has sent in his transfer papers. Rockets coach Tom Amstutz can't comment until he receives the signed document.
Broussard, who chose Toledo over Georgia Tech, said he plans to be on UT's campus a few days before the start of classes on Aug. 26.
According to NCAA transfer rules, he will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out this season. Michael will be on scholarship with the Rockets beginning this fall and may practice with the team, but he will not be able to suit up or travel to games.
“In the end, I just liked the idea of playing with my brother,” Michael said. “I also am looking forward to playing in the Mid-American Conference. I think the MAC is one of the most underrated conferences in America.
“I don't think there's much drop-off between the MAC and the Big Ten. MAC teams always seem to give Big Ten teams a fit. I know we played Western Michigan when I was a freshman at Wisconsin and they gave us a run for our money.”
Broussard is the third former Big Ten player to transfer to Toledo in Amstutz's two seasons. The other two, defensive tackle Maurice White from Minnesota and linebacker Scott Genord from Indiana, have both left school and are no longer with the team.
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