UPDATE, 9:54 pm: Let's make it official:
Word from WR Jared Abbrederis "I am coming back for my senior year and am excited for it!" #Badgers— Badger Football (@BadgerFootball) January 6, 2013
UPDATE, 8:27 pm: Well, that was [not so] fun while it lasted. Per Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal:
Told by someone close to Jared Abbrederis, the #Badgers WR is coming back to UW, despite report.— Tom Mulhern (@TomMulhernWSJ) January 6, 2013
Travis Frederick is gone for the NFL, tasking Wisconsin with replacing two offensive linemen after left tackle Ricky Wagner graduates in the spring.
But what about those other three juniors who joined Frederick in exploring their NFL Draft stocks? Wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, linebacker Chris Borland and left guard Ryan Groy each also submitted paperwork to the league's draft advisory board, a decision that is fairly typical for talented players with another year of college eligibility.
Per ESPN.com, Borland said after the Rose Bowl he was "definitely returning to school." That leaves Abbrederis and Groy, and at first blush, they seem likely to stay. Abbrederis was once again a stellar returner and special teams contributor, and his value as the lone steady receiving option for the Danny O'Brien/Joel Stave/Curt Phillips triumvirate cannot be overstated.
|Receiving||Kickoff Returns||Punt Returns|
But of course, that can't and won't stop the rumor mill. Tony Pauline of SI.com and DraftInsider.net tweeted earlier Saturday afternoon that Abbrederis is likely to leave for the pros, spurring the latest panic bout for a Wisconsin fan base that's already been tortured enough this season.
Word from Madison is Jared Abbrederis/WR/Wisconsin likely to enter the draft.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 5, 2013
Well, OK then. Naturally, a portion of the Twittersphere ran with that. Others, including our friend Dave Heller of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reminded us that nobody's heard anything like that from Abbrederis himself. ESPN Wisconsin's Tom Lea also chimed in, noting that A) Before leaving for Pasadena, Abbrederis didn't seem likely to leave and B) a "source close to him" said Abbrederis is returning to UW after seeing his draft grade. That source may or may not be an apparent friend of Abbrederis' who is ice fishing with the star wideout this weekend.
Clearly, there's no resolution here. We'll have to keep an eye out.