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Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli named to SI’s 2017 Preseason All-America Team

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High praise for the former walk-on.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

More early honors for a former walk-on and current team captain.

Sports Illustrated named Wisconsin Badgers tight end Troy Fumagalli to its 2017 Preseason All-America Team on Wednesday.

The 6' 6", 248-pound senior only found the end zone twice in 2016, but he delivered in the Badgers’ biggest games of the year, and he has the soft hands and body control of a much slighter target. He will be invaluable to sophomore QB Alex Hornibrook, who needs reliable options as he reassumes starting duties.

Fumagalli is one of four Big Ten players on SI’s first-team list, joining Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and Ohio State’s Billy Price and Jerome Baker.

Last year, the 6’6, 248-pound tight end led the Badgers in receptions (47) and earned offensive MVP honors in the 2017 Cotton Bowl victory over Western Michigan.

Fumagalli has garnered nationwide hype heading into this season, including a nomination to the Mackey Award watch list. SI’s Preseason All-America Team is also the second Fumagalli has been named to after landing on Athlon Sports’ first-team All-America squad back in June.

Fumagalli was also named one of the Badgers’ captains for the 2017 season.