Abbrederis would love to become the next Luke Swan, but he's got to become a receiver first.
A Wisconsin Football Coaches Association first-team all-state quarterback, Abbrederis finished his career at Wautoma High with 3,014 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. The Wisconsin coaching staff loved his film, but the things that popped out to them were his ability in the open field. A two-time state champion and state record holder in 110 m high hurdles, Abbrederis' lightning speed saw him rush for 1,490 yards as a senior, average 8.4 yards per carry and 26 rushing touchdowns.
Abbrederis walked on at Wisconsin, switched to wide receiver and thanks to a long winter of working on chemistry with another redshirt freshman (Jon Budmayr), the duo are turning heads at practice with their timing and chemistry, making Abbrederis excited for the road ahead.
Badger Nation: Has this been a fun start to the spring for you? Every time you look, you are making a big play, a big catch. That's got to help the confidence factor moving forward.
Jared Abbrederis; Yeah, it's been a good couple days. I had some nice plays, but I have to make every play, and that's what coach is stressing. I just can't make the big ones, I've got to do everything right, got to do the small things right, but it has been a big confidence booster to go out there and show what I've got.
Badger Nation: How has your track background help you as a wide receiver?
Abbrederis: I think track helps obviously a lot because you work on your top speed. So, one thing I've got to really start working on is getting off the line, being quick getting off the line. I have been working on that. With my top speed, I can run past people pretty good. This offseason working with Jon Budmayr, running routes with him and getting our confidence up with each other, we've got some timing and know where we are going to be on the field. I think that helps out a lot, too, working together and having that connection.
Badger Nation: I assume that connection started for you guys on the scout team and you developed it over the winter conditioning, so you get the timing down so when that time comes, you'll be ready to step in and hopefully contribute?
Abbrederis: Absolutely. Last year, we obviously had some times where I would be a wide receiver on scout team and he would be the quarterback. We would get that down and this winter was really good for us because we would be able to get out on to the field about three times a week and just run routes, work on catching and really get that bond. He's just a good quarterback. He goes through his number one guy, his number two guy, his number three guy, so it really doesn't matter who he is going to throw to. I do think it helps a lot that we have that bond in the offseason.
Badger Nation: Having played quarterback and having that mentality, does that help you as a wide receiver at all?
Abbrederis: I think in some ways it does, because you kind of know what to look for. But in another sense, wide receiver is such a different position that going from quarterback to wide receiver at the college level is a big transition, especially here at Madison. I think it would have helped to be a wide receiver in high school because I would have had the routes down and get better at my breaks. I do think it helps in a football I.Q. way.
Badger Nation: You talk about wanting to make every play. Is that the biggest thing you're striving for and how much does it help having two guys like Nick Toon and Isaac Anderson to watch as you work on that?
Abbrederis: They're great examples for me. They help all the younger guys out, so it's great to have them. I think experience will help because when you run out there, you have to be quick to remember a play and you don't want to be iffy on it. You've got to go out there. Experience will help because you get to play fast all the time. It takes time and I just need to get my playbook, study and be a student of the game.
Badger Nation: Do you think the secondary guys are a little shocked by your raw skills so far though?
Abbrederis: Last year I had a brace on. This year I took it off, so maybe I am playing with them a little bit. I feel a lot quicker without my brace on. That might be something for them to think about. They are a great group of guys and we just go out there to compete every day and have fun.
Badger Nation: Being a Wisconsin kid, growing up in the state, being a walk-on here, are you just having a great experience so far?
Abbrederis: It's a great opportunity and I am really privileged to be here making plays. I just got to take advantage of every opportunity that I get. If I do that and keep working hard, the sky is the limit.