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Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumagalli named preseason All-American by Athlon Sports

The former walk-on receives early praise.

81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Western Michigan v Wisconsin Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The hype is real for a(nother) former Wisconsin Badgers walk-on.

Tight end Troy Fumagalli earned a preseason first-team All-American selection from Athlon Sports on Tuesday.

Fumagalli led the team in receptions with 47 last season. He strung together big games in the season-opener at Lambeau Field versus LSU (seven receptions, 100 yards) and at AT&T Stadium to close out his redshirt junior campaign against Western Michigan in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (six, 83, one touchdown).

The 6’6, 248-pound tight end also caught at least four passes in four other games, including seven against Ohio State back on Oct. 15.

Wisconsin’s tight end group could be the best not just in the conference, but in the nation during the 2017 season. Back in April, Fumagalli mentioned he wanted to improve physically but also increase his understanding of defenses.

Tight ends coach Mickey Turner noted during the spring that he wanted to see the overall consistency from his star pupil, “no matter who’s against” him.

“The great thing about Troy is when I challenge him with those news areas to get better at, he’s pretty hard on himself about attacking those things in improving those areas,” Turner said. “It’s not a guy that I got to jump his butt or say, ‘Hey man, we talked about this.’ As soon as I give him a recipe for something that might make him more successful, he’ll jump right on it and take over.”

He’s the only Badger to earn an All-American nod on Athlon’s lists. The Big Ten Conference is represented by 19 players overall on the four teams listed(three on first-team, six on second, five on both third and fourth team).