Through 15 spring practices and midway through the second week of fall camp, it’s evident that seniors Alex Erickson and Jordan Fredrick have separated themselves and will be quarterback Joel Stave’s top options in 2015. After that, however, the depth chart is a muddled mess.
“I feel like I’m in the mix,” said Peavy. “That’s how I feel. I just have to keep competing with everything. I can’t give up and see how things play out.”
There’s a lot of unproven depth first-year wide receiver coach Ted Gilmore is working with, as players like Reggie Love, George Rushing, Krenwick Sanders and Rob Wheelwright have seen limited game action. Thrown in senior Tanner McEvoy and it’s a big group with only so many spots available.
Peavy barely fits in that category. He played against Maryland and Rutgers last season but didn’t register a catch or factor into the game’s end result. It’s minimal time that has fueled the former Kenosha Tremper athlete since the season concluded.
“My mindset has always been just compete because everyone out here is trying to compete,” said Peavy. “We all know there are spots open, so everyone is trying to fight for reps and do everything they can to get on the field on any run play or pass play. My whole approach is get out there and do everything possible I can when I do get my rep to show I can play.”
Peavy’s opportunities at Wisconsin have been limited because his body hasn’t cooperated. Labeled as a deep threat with a burst of speed out of high school, Peavy had to redshirt in 2013 when he suffered a hamstring injury preparing for the Wisconsin Football Coaches’ Association all-star game, an injury that lingered and caused his development to suffer.
He suffered another hamstring injury in last year’s fall camp and was sidelined for several weeks, unable to contribute to a passing game that lacked viable options outside Erickson (55 catches, 772 yards, three touchdowns).
Those past problems didn’t concern Gilmore, who gave everyone a fresh slate and a resource to tap into. That was good news for Peavy, who has seen the speed return to his legs and his game.
“Coach has a lot of knowledge for the game,” Peavy said, referring to Gilmore. “Any questions that you have on the field for run or pass plays, he can answer them the best. He’s always someone you can go to at any time.”
Peavy flashed during spring practices and has done so again in the fall working all three receiver positions with the second-team offense, a spot he finds himself with the return of injured players who sat out the spring. While team drills have been limited up until this point, a scheduled scrimmage on Saturday is the date Peazy has targeted to make an impact.
Because if he doesn’t shine then, he knows he’ll be fighting to get noticed the rest of the season.
“I feel like I am still in that spot where I need to prove that I can play,” said Peavy. “I feel like I can play every position, to be honest, so we’ll see what happens.”