Ten years later, Wisconsin receiver on fire again

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 19, 2012 - 6:43 AM

 Jared Abbrederis was a budding receiver when he started playing football, but switched positions in high school. Now he's back catching passes and living his dream.

Jared Abbrederis might have found his destiny around age 10, but it took the Wisconsin standout receiver a while to truly discover it.

In those Pop Warner years, the quick, soft-handed Abbrederis could "catch anything," he said, then take off down the field like he was on fire and running for water.

Soon, however, he switched positions, playing quarterback in high school. There weren't many college offers and just as it seemed like football would be a hobby for Abbrederis, he began to focus on track and field, using his speed and athleticism to hurdle his way to two state championships.

A decade removed from Pop Warner, after eschewing scholarships from Division II schools and walking on to Wisconsin's campus to play the game he loved, the redshirt junior's natural talents have resurfaced. Heading into the Badgers game against the Gophers on Saturday, Abbrederis has become the No. 1 receiving threat on a team that's gone 2-1 in the Big Ten.

As Abbrederis explodes downfield now, seeing the talent he's always had is simple. After all, the receiver leads the conference in receiving yards per game (93.2), and became the first Wisconsin player to record three consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Lee Evans did it in 2001. In a slightly changed offense from a year ago under new coordinator Matt Canada, Abbrederis has proven capable of making dynamic plays and racking up enough yards to lead the league (559), despite missing a game and a half because of a concussion.

But Badgers' coach Bret Bielema swears he noticed a sparkle from the start.

"You know what? I had a special feeling about him that first semester," Bielema said. "He really hadn't been in a receiver position, but you could see a gutsy performer, a guy that played every day."

At that point, Abbrederis weighed "150 pounds, soaking wet," Bielema said. The Wautoma, Wis., native started his Wisconsin career as the spread quarterback on the scout team.

"The first year, I didn't get a lot of snaps," the 6-2, 185-pound Abbrederis said. "But then the spring came by and I had a couple opportunities to make plays, and I was able to make them, and I kind of got my foot in the offense a little."

He impressed to the point that the Badgers decided he was valuable enough to try to move elsewhere. Bielema told him he could pick between wide receiver and defensive back. For Abbrederis the choice was clear.

He ran extra routes with the quarterbacks in the winter. Ten years removed from snagging passes and running like he was on fire, his natural skills were rusty.

"That was frustrating for me, to have good hands and lose them kind of, but I just had to work real hard to get them back," Abbrederis said. "After that spring, I knew I could play, so I started setting more goals, maybe getting in the rotation. And after I got in the rotation, it was keep improving on the things that will make you better, make you into one of the best in the Big Ten.

"Once you reach a goal, you set a new one. And once you set goals, you've got to accomplish them."

With that kind of resolve, it's no surprise in his third year he's doing just that, even if he said he never thought the success would "come nearly this good."

"I've got a lot of respect for the young man," Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said. "He deserves every amount of credit that he gets. ... You can't have enough guys like him playing the game of football."

In January, Wisconsin awarded Abbrederis the scholarship he'd wanted since he was an adoring kid, watching the Badgers. But while the status relieved his financial obligations, it didn't change his mindset.

"It's never being satisfied," he said. "I've always kind of kept that walk-on mentality -- nothing's given and everything's earned."

  • related content

  • Jared Abbrederis opened Wisconsin’s scoring in the Rose Bowl against Oregon last January with a 38-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. The Wisconsin native joined the team as a walk-on, but has worked his way to a scholarship and starring role.


    11 a.m. Saturday • Camp Randall Stadium • TV: ESPNU (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cincinnati 0 Delayed
Baltimore 0
Boston 2 Top 3rd Inning
NY Yankees 0
Detroit 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Cleveland 2
NY Mets 4 Top 3rd Inning
Miami 0
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Atlanta 0
Toronto 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
LA Angels - C. Wilson 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. Milone
Texas - D. Holland 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Washington - D. Fister 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question