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Draft Day Memories: Sturgeon Bay's Casey Rabach reflects back on 2001 draft

Draft Day Memories: Sturgeon Bay's Casey Rabach reflects back on 2001 draft
Posted at 4:09 PM, Apr 25, 2024

MADISON — A couple of local players from Northeast Wisconsin will be selected in the 2024 NFL Draft.

More than 20 years ago, Casey Rabach of Sturgeon Bay High School heard his name called, The Badgers center ended up having a successful NFL career and now his life has come full circle as he’s now the director of scouting for the University of Wisconsin football team.

“Mostly my position is the bigs, offensive line, defensive line and quarterbacks,” he said. “I don't know how I got that, but hey let's go.”

Rabach is out finding talent that fits his alma mater and helping them understand what Wisconsin football is all about. 

“Wisconsin forever holds a special place in my heart,” Rabach said. “This is a place that took a chance on a small town kid and gave me an opportunity to do some really great things.”

Rabach reflected fondly upon his small town upbringing at Sturgeon Bay High School.

“My fondest memories are those friday nights,” he said. “I think it wasn’t just a school sport, it was a community sport at that time. I think it was fun because you had the crosstown rivalries and Southern door and the other Door County schools, the athletes that we’re coming out of the Door County area there were pretty darn good.”

After his time with the Badgers was finished, he was with his family having a BBQ waiting to hear his name called in the 2001 draft,

“Nerve wracking,” said of his experience leading up to the draft. “But knowing that you had done everything you can – whenever you’re picked you go continue that work you’ve been putting in all of the past 3, 4, 5 years whatever it is and go establish yourself at the next level.”

He was taken in the third round by the Baltimore Ravens where he would go on to have a very successful nine year career with them and Washington.

“I love the grind,” he said. “I love the hard work. I love the pressure and all this stuff and I think that’s what paid dividends for the length (of my) career.”

Now he can share his journey and the success he had in college and the NFL holding the new incoming recruits to a high standard. 

“Talking to them about the path that I took and why I got to where I was and building them a picture of them being – feeling the shoes that I walked in here at the University of Wisconsin, I think pays huge dividends in the long-term.”