Sep 21, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; A Wisconsin Badgers helmet during warmups prior to the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Purdue 41-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin Badgers football: Freshman Jaden Gault taking leave from football


Jaden Gault had it all—he was an U.S. Army All-American, ranked as the best player in the state of Wisconsin and colleges fawning all over him. However, it all unraveled quickly as Gault prepared to be a Wisconsin Badger as an early entrant in January.

Gault dealt with a series of personal blows, including the deaths of two close family members and a knee injury that required surgery in a span of just over two months. Sandwich playing in the U.S. Army All-American bowl and transitioning to college life and Gault needed a break.

On Monday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that Gault has been on leave from the football program since spring as he is battling depression.

“I was almost like a zombie,” Gault said, via at the Wisconsin State Journal. “I was getting kind of hopeless. I didn’t feel like doing anything or being there at all. I just wanted to check out. I wanted to just be done with life. Being in that kind of stage, you really have no other options in your head at that time.”

Gault has sought help to deal with depression that resulted in twice thinking of committing suicide, which led him to take a leave from the football program at the end of March.

Head coach Gary Andersen and the program have given him all the support he wants and haven’t pressured him in to a timetable for a return.

Right now the plan is for Gault to transition to a full class schedule this fall and reevaluate where he is at mentally after that. If healthy, he’ll return to the football program as a redshirt freshman for the 2015 season.

Tags: NCAA Football Wisconsin Badgers