Badger Tindal Almost Left Football Behind - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badger Tindal Almost Left Football Behind

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Playing in the Cotton Bowl may not have been the championship game Wisconsin was hoping for to cap off their season, but they will take it, as will junior cornerback Derrick Tindal after the death of his mother almost lead him to give up playing football for good.

Tindal is a long ways from home. Over 1,500 miles. A Fort Lauderdale, Florida kid playing his college ball in Madison. That ticket away from home, was a blessing in disguise.

"I grew up in a rough neighborhood." Tindal said. "I mean a lot of people make it out, but it's a big place so out of that big place there is only a few that really make it out. a lot of my friends are either in the streets or in jail."

Tindal saw limited time as a freshman, but did play in 12 games. What was clear, was he was where he needed to be and had a role on the defense.

"Just to be able to come out here with my boys everyday and work. it makes you forget about all of the cold weather." Said Tindal. "You just look forward to days with your teammates."

While Tindal was caught up in the rush of college football as a freshman, off the field his mother's battle with cancer was coming to an end. She passed away from Cervical Cancer during that season leaving Tindal with thoughts of giving up playing football for good.

Tindal said, "I just remember one day busting out of the locker room crying. The whole team came to comfort me. it was a big time, and I really needed them around  me. They pushed me to come back too."

Tindal has come back in a big way. He played in 12 games as a sophomore and soon to be 14 games as a junior. This season also with career highs in tackles and interceptions. 

"I can't imagine going through something like that and having the ability to come back here and still be a great guy and and come out here and play." Said Badgers senior safety Leo Musso.

Next season Tindal will be a senior on this Badger defense. As a leader should, he's experienced wins and losses, but has no regrets.

"I talked to my grandma one day, and she told me, the world doesn't stop just because we lose somebody. That should be motivation to keep going." Tindal said.

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