Wisconsin Badgers' Positional Previews: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
We are about two months away from the first home game of the season against Utah State, on a Friday at Camp Randall Stadium. With the expectations increasing after making the Big Ten Championship and winning the Cotton Bowl in head coach Paul Chryst's second season, the Badgers definitely look the part. Today, I'll be discussing an perennial weakness for the Badgers, the receivers, along with a strength, the tight ends.
TE: Troy Fumagalli (SR), Kyle Penniston (SO), Zander Neuville (JR)
WR: Jazz Peavy (SR), Quintez Cephus (SO), George Rushing (SR), AJ Taylor (SO), Ricky Finco (JR), Henry Houden (SO)
This group lost WR Rob Wheelwright and TE Eric Steffes, but overall this group should be better than it was last season. Peavy looks to take on the role that Jared Abbrederis and Alex Erickson had before him, and he was the leader in yards (635) and touchdowns (5). Cephus looks to take a step up and get more action than just on running downs, as he only had 94 receiving yards. Rushing, the other senior besides Peavy, figures to be the third guy to start, while AJ Taylor was the only other receiver to catch a pass. I wouldn't expect a ton of playing time to go to anybody beyond that barring injury.
Tight end is usually the strength of the receiving group for the Badgers, and this year is no different. Troy Fumagalli is NFL-caliber, and was second in yards (580) and touchdowns (2) for the Badgers. Kyle Penniston is the future at the position, and he also had 2 touchdowns, but just 100 yards. Zander Neuville will likely be the blocking tight end.