There are great stories all over the Big Ten, it's part of what makes this conference so intriguing no matter the product that's put on the field. In fact, it's spawned one of the best documentary-style series' out there in "The Journey." As we give you a double dose of our Top 25 list today our No. 13 player may be one of the best stories out there, along with the story of the first player out today, Kain Colter at No. 14.
Wisconsin, along with Nebraska and Iowa, may have the strongest and best known walk-on programs in the country and names like Jim Leonhard from the UW show you just how good things can get, so can our No. 13 player.
However, a player at a position like wide receiver coming from walk-on to star is highly unlikely. Even more unlikely? Walking on as a quarterback and becoming one of the all-time greats at your school and a leader nationally at said position, yet that's exactly what our No. 13 player has done.
No. 13: Jared Abbrederis (WR, Wisconsin)
2012 Stats/Honors: 49 receptions, 837 yards, 5 touchdowns; Consensus 1st team All-Big Ten
What makes him worthy: We gave you a brief history of Jared Abbrederis' story at Wisconsin and it's a good one. However, it doesn't just become that because he made himself into a starting wide receiver. He's much more than that.
Abbrederis enters 2012 at the top of the FBS heap, averaging 16.7 yards per catch for his career. He's also already 7th on the all-time receptions list (124) at Wisconsin and 6th in receiving yardage (2,059).
Last season wasn't his best, yet still managed to rank 3rd in receiving yards per game and receiving yards for the season in the Big Ten. If you still have any doubts about his talents we're not sure what more we could throw at you to convince you.
Oh, and let's also not forget that up until his importance as the only real receiving threat on the team last season, Abbrederis was also one of the top punt returners in the conference too.
If there's a better deep threat at wide receiver in the conference we'd love to see it. He has some of, if not the best, hands in the conference and it shows in his ability to continuously catch deep balls through traffic. Throw it up and if he's in the vicinity you're likely to find that he comes down with the ball. It wouldn't surprise us to see Abbrederis on the top of the receiving lists when all is said and done in the Big Ten this season and it shouldn't surprise you either.
(h/t to good friend Jonathan Zenk for the highlights)
Top 25 Players List:
No. 25: Christian Bryant (S, Ohio State)
No. 24: Ryan Groy (OL, Wisconsin)
No. 23: Isaiah Lewis (S, Michigan State)
No. 22: Carlos Hyde (RB, Ohio State)
No. 21: Denicos Allen (LB, Michigan State)
No. 20: Jacob Pedersen (TE, Wisconsin)
No. 19: Zac Epping (C, Minnesota)
No. 18: Jordan Hall (RB, Ohio State)
No. 17: Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)
No. 16: Kenny Bell (WR, Nebraska)
No. 15: James White (RB, Wisconsin)
No. 14: Kain Colter (QB, Northwestern)