By Tom Lea
Call him 'Magic Man,' 'Abracadabra,' or anything else you can muster, create or imagine, it's not going to change the fact that Jared Abbrederis is one of the most important Badgers entering the 2011 season. And it's not even really by choice as much as it is necessity.
Considering Nick Toon missed the entirety of spring camp with an ailing foot that required surgery, there is a legitimate concern that it could be a problem in the future. One obviously never hopes that to be the case, but it's tough to project how an injury has recovered until it has been tested on the practice field, particularly when there's contact involved. So the way Toon responds from that surgery won't fully be realized until fall camp.
So the short of the short is that it's tough to expect a ton from a recovering Toon, particularly early on in the season, that would alleviate some of the pressure from Abbrederis that will continually mount until Toon is completely healthy again. He's going to have some expectations entering his sophomore season, particularly after seeing his progression throughout spring camp, and it will be up to him to make sure he gets to that point. As the bona fide No. 2 receiver, Abbrederis is going to have to produce this season. There's no way to beat around that bush.
If Toon proves he's completely healthy by the time the season rolls around, or by the time the Big Ten schedule opens, Abbrederis will have an opportunity to make an even greater impact simply because he'll be the beneficiary of the attention Toon receives from opposing defenses.
Anybody that knows a little bit about Abbrederis' game knows that his greatest asset is his speed. He's able to stretch the field better than anybody else on the roster and that could be a new element to Paul Chryst's offense. And with the chemistry he's developed with Jon Budmayr, it could be an element that could have great success.
Abbrederis could be dynamic this season and considering the position he plays and it's lack of proven depth, UW might need him to be in order to function at it's highest possible ability.
UP NEXT: No. 14 on our list plays an instrumental position in Chryst's offensive schemes. Will he be able to continue what's become a pretty solid tradition at his position?