Jared Abbrederis is inarguably one of the most important pieces on offense next season. Breaking in a new, potentially shaky quarterback in either Joel Stave or (more likely) Danny O'Brien, Abbrederis will function as the go-to chain mover and deep threat because, as of yet, there really isn't anyone else as proven. That's not to discredit what Jacob Pedersen, Montee Ball, James White, Jeff Duckworth or could do as pass catchers, but right now Abbrederis is poised to suck up a lot of targets until proven otherwise.
Adam Rittenberg tabbed Abbrederis as the Big Ten's best receiver in an admittedly down year for the conference. He makes the assertion tenuously, however, and for good reason. The quarterback position is uncertain, not to mention Abbrederis hasn't been a No. 1 yet in his career. Nick Toon was arguably the "go-to" receiver last season, though the numbers between the two were comparable. Still, Abbrederis faces the distinct possibility of playing without a second banana to draw attention away from coverage.
Rittenberg foresees big things if everything does fall into place, however.
If O'Brien isn't the answer, I don't expect Wisconsin to be throwing the ball as much as it did last season. If Wisconsin can establish a viable passing attack, expect Abbrederis to easily eclipse the 1,000-yard mark as the team's top option.
Wisconsin has not had a receiver go for 1,000-plus since Brandon Williams did it during the 2005 season. The conditions are ripe for Abbrederis to do it (supportive running game, unproven competition) as long as his quarterbacks are competent and he takes another step forward like he did from Year 1 to Year 2.
Links after the jump:
You can vote on the top receiver in the B1G, if you're into that sort of thing.
B1G blog tabs Ohio State as Wisconsin's most important game next season. Tough call, though I'd probably go Penn State for actual significance in the division crown. MSU and OSU certainly get the blood boiling, however.
Zak Showalter earns his scholarship in the wake of Jarrod Uthoff's transfer.
"Sioux's a girl's name" no longer a viable chant at hockey games.
BHGP gets inspired by Tron for Penn State's Pro Combat concept.
BCS commissioners and Notre Dame met up at O'Hare and decided pretty much nothing re: playoffs, except that they can't wait to pass the buck to college presidents.
Blutarsky thinks the plus-one may still be alive.
Statistical proof that defense wins championships and whatnot.