After three seniors left his position group, Sam Arneson is looking to lead a very young group of tight ends this season. The senior is the clear number one because of his experience the past few seasons riding under the wings of Jacob Pedersen among others.
Stats: Played in 13 games a year ago with three starts, earning his third letter … Finished season with six receptions for 57 yards and two touchdowns … Had a career-high three receptions for 39 yards against Ohio State.
Strengths: Arneson has great hands for a 6-4, 244-pound target. He is able to use that frame to his advantage in terms of strength and power, and he is able to run uphill through every defender.
Weaknesses: His speed after the catch will be the biggest thing holding him back from gaining major yardage. Arneson also has never been counted to have an expanded role outside the red zone.
Why he is where he is: Arneson cracks the top 20 because he is a playmaker that will need to rely on his consistency to become a huge offensive threat for the Badgers. With Wisconsin not having any proven layers at wide receiver, Arneson will need to capitalize on the balls thrown to him.
Overall: Arneson knows that he has a big leadership role this season being the lone senior in the tight end room. He has also been working on being a consistent blocking tight end, which will help the Badger fullbacks and running backs to create great running lanes. His strength and great hands give him the edge in any matchup. Arneson will look to be added to the list of great Wisconsin tight ends as he embarks on his final season.
Up Next: Number 18 on our countdown took over the starting job midway through last season and is looking to keep his job in a fall camp battle.
Note: This is not a list of the team's 30 best players or a series about past success, but rather a list of which players are the most critical to the team’s success in 2014. The list was created based on a player’s overall importance, impact on the field, the player’s position and expectations. True freshmen were not considered for this season.