By Tom Lea
Now that former tight end Lance Kendricks has exhausted his college eligibility there seems to be an opening for someone to step in and assume his role as a key cog in the UW offense, particularly at the tight end position. While Jacob Pedersen and Brian Wozniak seem to be the frontrunners for the starting spot, a guy like Manasseh Garner could build off his great spring camp and use it to propel him into a feature role in Paul Chryst's offense.
If his performance this past March and April was any indication it seems as though Garner is going to stay on the offensive side of the ball for good. He was playing several different positions throughout camp ranging from H-back to the more traditional wide receiver position and he excelled everywhere he lined up.
One of the more encouraging aspects to Garner's ability is his willingness to do whatever it takes to get on the field. That was put on center stage a season ago when Garner wasn't getting as much playing time on the offensive side of the ball as he would have probably liked. When the coaches approached him and asked if he would play on the defensive side of the ball there was never any hesitation.
Garner is a prime example of the ideal Wisconsin player. He's unselfish, hard working and motivated to do whatever it takes to help the team win. It's never about him. Instead, it's about what needs to be done to have success, both individually and collectively. He's also got plenty of talent that will be put on display during the 2011 season.
Garner was placed on this list at No. 19 based on his performance as a true freshman a year ago and his play this spring. With openings abound at wide receiver, expect Garner to flourish during his second season on campus. He should be plenty comfortable with the playbook and as long as he remains healthy he will do nothing but help the UW offense perform at a high level, especially if he can focus on one side of the ball exclusively.
UP NEXT: No. 18 on our list is a player that came out of spring camp with a bevy of confidence at a position of extreme importance on the defensive side of the ball. He has earned some accolades throughout his career and hopes to live up to them entering his final season.