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For Wisconsin defensive back Ricardo Hallman, making a difference is the biggest goal. Since joining the Badgers, Ricardo has continued to make his impact known. Just a redshirt freshman, Ricardo’s role has expanded throughout his time in Madison and he has produced in any scenario that he has been put in. As Ricardo prepares for what his future holds, he remains confident and grounded in his faith, which plays an integral role in his life.

Photo Courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics
Originally from the Florida area, Ricardo says that faith was never much of a priority for him growing up. However, when he was faced with an injury early in his high school career, he says he saw his priorities shift.

“I will be the first to say faith didn’t play a big role in my life in my younger years. At first I never really had a real relationship with God and really didn’t understand what Jesus really stood for outside of the normal things you are taught. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school when I got injured and was forced to miss the entire year of football where I took the step in developing a strong faith in God.”

Ricardo says that the absence of football caused him to reflect on what mattered most in his life.

“I was in a lost place at the time trying to find my role in life without football and God helped me to regain confidence and develop a sense of direction in my life without football being present. Taking that step and trusting God was the best decision I’ve ever made!”

After catching the eyes of coaches throughout the country, Ricardo held offers from the likes of schools such as Michigan, Ole Miss, Arkansas, and more. After making his decision to head to Wisconsin and join the Badgers, he has quickly seen himself on the field throughout his first couple of years in Madison. Ricardo says that his faith plays a guiding role throughout his career, and it gives him confidence regardless of the circumstances.

Photo Courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics
“Faith plays a big role in my football career. It allows me to always be thankful, always to stay grounded no matter the good or bad and to be confident every time I step on the field no matter what I’m faced with!”

That confidence culminated in Ricardo being named Rookie of the Year by his Wisconsin coaches and teammates after the 2022 regular season. Knowing that the work is only just beginning, Ricardo says he is just grateful for the chance to play the game that he loves.

While Ricardo has made an impact already with Wisconsin on the football field, what impresses those around him even more is his character. Drawing the respect and admiration of those around him, Ricardo says he just hopes his life is a reflection of something greater than himself. He says he hopes to inspire others to trust in God and know that His plan is always greater.

“The biggest impact I hope to have is to definitely share my story and help people be able to take that step and develop a relationship with God. I feel like with my platform of playing this beautiful sport I have the opportunity to reach so many people and help those struggling in the situation I was once in!”

As Ricardo and the Badgers continue their preparations for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl with Oklahoma State, they will look to finish off the season with a win as they welcome new head coach Luke Fickell. With his career only just taking off, Ricardo knows he still has so much to prove as he looks to become one of the best in the game. Regardless of the circumstances, Ricardo says that his goal is to use his gifts not for himself, but instead to show what God has done in his life and inspire others through those abilities he has been blessed with.

 

Ethan Kruse

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