FOND DU LAC, Wis. (NBC 26) — Braelon Allen returned home to Fond du Lac on Sunday.
The Badgers star running back hosted a charity softball game featuring current Wisconsin teammates and Badgers legends in his hometown.
"It was a lot of fun to put it simply," Allen said. "It was a great time out here with my teammates and closest friends."
It was the latest public appearance for the Fond du Lac native, who has been one of Wisconsin's most prominent athletes to take advantage of a recent ruling that allows NCAA athletes to cash in on their name, image and likeness.
"It's actually crazy," Allen said. "When I first heard about (NIL) I didn't know things like this were really possible.
"I like playing softball in the summer," he continued. "So I thought it was a good idea to raise some money to give to charity."
"I think there's definitely great ways to use NIL," Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz, who was in attendance for the game, said. "This is one of those things.
"It's a great chance to get around your guys and play a game and also do it for a great cause so you can't ask for more than that," Mertz added.
In the game, Allen and freshman quarterback Myles Burkett each mashed two home runs as the Badgers offense beat the defense 12-7.
"That felt really good after the performance I had in the home run derby (before the game), that was disappointing," Allen said. "It was hard to give that trophy away but next year I'll be ready."
After the game was done, players mingled with fans, signing autographs and taking selfies. Overall, it was a big success for the 18-year-old superstar as he gets ready for his sophomore season at Wisconsin.
"I learned about the support I have from the community off the football field," he said. "It's really cool to get to take pictures, sign autographs and stuff like that."
Allen burst onto the scene last fall with a phenomenal freshman season. He ran for more than 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns.