From walk-on to record-breaker?
After a breakout season, Jared Abbrederis finally got the news he'd been waiting for his entire Wisconsin career this week. He announced via Twitter yesterday that he had officially signed papers that granted him a scholarship (along with Ethan Hemer).
The redshirt sophomore walked on in 2009 before redshirting and then impressively breaking into the receiving rotation in 2010. He led the Badgers in receiving yards in 2011 despite his clear status as the No. 2 receiver behind Nick Toon. He finished the season with 55 catches for 933 yards and eight touchdowns. Abbrederis also emerged as a threat in the return game, amassing over 1,000 return yards on the season and leading the Big Ten with a 7.3 yard punt return average.
So what's next for Abbrederis? With the departure of Nick Toon, he's clearly the No. 1 receiver heading into the offseason for the Badgers. He won't have Russell Wilson throwing to him next year either, but without Toon to compete with for targets, his numbers might go up anyway.
I might be getting a bit ahead of myself here, but if he stays healthy, I think Abbrederis has a shot at making a run at one or more of Wisconsin's all-time school receiving records. He'll need to average 64 catches, 1,123.5 yards and/or 8.5 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Wisconsin to set the all-time marks of 202 catches (Brandon Williams), 3468 yards (Lee Evans) and 27 touchdowns (Evans). All are tall orders, but Abbrederis, with his 17 yards per catch 2011 average and strong return numbers, has show the explosiveness needed to put up big numbers. And remember, Evans amassed all of his numbers in only three seasons.
With No. 16 Indiana scheduled to visit the Kohl Center Thursday, the Badgers creeped back into the latest AP top 25.
The mass departure of Wisconsin's offensive assistant coaches prompted four-star offensive lineman J.J. Denman to switch his commitment from Wisconsin to Rutgers.
Jordan Taylor finally earned his first Big Ten Player of the Week award.
1994 Rose Bowl co-captain Joe Panos was one of several players to sign on as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL regarding concussions.