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Monday, September 30, 2013
Player of the Week: Big Ten

By Josh Moyer

Wisconsin wideout Jared Abbrederis is no secret.

Ohio State knew he was the Badgers' main receiving threat. Heck, he's basically their only receiving threat. So OSU lined up All-American cornerback Bradley Roby against him and hoped for the best.

Jared Abbrederis
Jared Abbrederis finds room to maneuver on Saturday against Ohio State.
What they got instead was the best performance by a Wisconsin receiver in nearly a decade.

The redshirt senior finished with 10 receptions for a career-high 207 yards and a touchdown, while the rest of his team combined for just eight catches and 88 yards. It was the first time a Wisconsin receiver wound up with 200 yards since Lee Evans had 258 against Michigan State on Nov. 15, 2003.

The Badgers didn't come away with a win. But a national television audience -- and even OSU coach Urban Meyer -- gained an appreciation of Abbrederis' talent.

"No. 4 for them, he's got my vote for All-Big Ten," Meyer said.

Abbrederis struck early and often in the Saturday night game. He made four catches for 118 yards in just the first quarter, and Roby was often forced to hold or tug on Abbrederis' jersey to slow him down. Roby was called for holding in the second half.

For as frustrating as it was for Ohio State's All-American, it might have just ended up as the career highlight for Abbrederis. The matchup made the Wisconsin receiver's performance all the more impressive.

He reeled in a few receptions that are sure to make Mel Kiper's highlight film come the NFL draft, and he seemed to catch everything thrown his way. On an underthrown ball late in the second quarter, Abbrederis slowed down to make a leaping, 33-yard grab as Roby knocked his legs out from under him. Despite the hit, the 6-foot-2 receiver held on.

And in the first quarter, on a 36-yard touchdown grab, Abbrederis made an over-the-shoulder catch and out-muscled Roby -- as the cornerback fell to the turf and the Wisconsin receiver sprinted another 10 yards into the end zone.

When you know what's coming and you still can't stop it? That obviously says something about the type of game Abbrederis had.

The Wisconsin wideout now leads the conference in receptions (33) and receiving yards (572). And he's also moving up the school-record lists. He's third in career touchdown receptions and third in career receiving yardage.

Saturday's game was the best for one of Wisconsin's best-ever wideouts. And that's why he's the Five-Star Player of the Week.