Jordan Fredrick is going to have giant shoes to fill as one of the starting wide outs for Wisconsin this season. With the loss of Jared Abbrederis to the NFL, Fredrick will need to step in and make an impact more than he ever has before. With plenty of games under his belt, Fredrick will need to step in and be one of the go to guys on offense to try to place a guy like Abbrederis. If Fredrick doesn’t step up and become a legitimate threat, the Badgers will have more issues than they can imagine.
Stats: Playing in all 13 games with five starts … Caught 10 passes for 106 yards and no touchdowns, all downgrades from his redshirt freshman season (17-196-1) … Caught passes in six of UW’s 13 games.
Strengths: Fredrick has incredible instincts for a receiver and will need to utilize that play in and play out to be successful. He also has a high football IQ that he will need to use to make big plays.
Weaknesses: Even though Fredrick is a taller receiver at 6-3, he has yet to show the coaching staff that he can utilize his size to his advantage. In the past, 50-50 balls have seemed to be a struggle for him, and he will need to work on using his size to his advantage. His speed is also average for a wide receiver.
Why he is where he is: Fredrick breaks the top 15 because he is going to be a make- or-break player this season in the receiver group. If he plays well, the Badgers are in great shape. If he doesn’t play well, the Wisconsin receivers will become that much younger, as the quarterbacks will need to rely on young guys to make big plays, which causes some concern.
Overall: Fredrick will be a vital weapon to this Badgers’ offense this season. The coaching staff has been looking to him for leadership on and off the field for the receiving core. He will need to attempt to fill part of the void that Abbrederis left, which will be incredibly tough. If he can make big plays, the Badgers will be a legitimate threat in the air.
Up Next: Projected to play multiple positions this season, No.12 on our countdown is an unsung hero who could have his number called quite often in 2014.
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.