July 5, 2013
• Paul Hornung Award Watch List
MADISON, Wis. -- For the second-consecutive year, Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis is among those under consideration for an award that recognizes the nation's most versatile college football player.
The senior wide receiver is one of 44 players named Friday to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, which gives Abbrederis a preseason nod for the second-straight season.
The award, now in its fourth year, is presented in honor of Paul Hornung, a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. He claimed the 1956 Heisman Trophy and was named NFL MVP in 1961 in the midst of a pro career that saw him win four championships with the Green Bay Packers, who made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft.
"Versatile" is a fitting title for Abbrederis, who enters his final season at UW as one of the nation's top returning wide receivers and is a proven threat as a punt and kickoff returner. Abbrederis owns 2,059 receiving yards for his career, which ranks him No. 6 in Badgers history, and his 16 career receiving touchdowns ties him for sixth all-time at UW, as well.
He's the nation's top returning wide receiver in terms of average per reception, owning a career average of 16.6 yards per catch.
In addition, he owns UW's school record for kickoff return average at 25.8 yards per return and ranks fifth all-time in punt return average at 11.2 yards per runback. His punt return average ranks No. 2 nationally among returning players with at least 40 career returns, while his 493 career punt return yards ranks No. 4 among returning FBS players.
He was the Badgers' leading receiver in 2012 with 49 receptions for 837 yards and five touchdowns. His 837 receiving yards ranked third among Big Ten players despite the fact that Abbrederis missed the second half of UW's game vs. Oregon State and the entire Utah State game with an injury.
He became just the fourth UW player to tally 800 receiving yards in multiple seasons, joining Travis Beckum, Lee Evans and Nick Toon. He also became the first Badger since Evans in 2001 to post three consecutive 100-yard receiving games when he tallied a career-high 147 yards vs. UTEP, 142 yards at Nebraska and 117 yards vs. Illinois.
In 2011, Abbrederis finished second in the Big Ten and 13th nationally with 1,999 all-purpose yards. That included the 346 all-purpose yards -- including a school-record 201 kickoff return yards -- he amassed in the Rose Bowl to fall just one yard shy of Ron Dayne's single-game school record.
Abbrederis is one of five Big Ten players on the Paul Hornung Award watch list, joining Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah, Ohio State's Corey Brown, Purdue's Akeem Hunt and Northwestern's Venric Mark.
A 16-member selection committee of media members and former players determine a pool of finalists and vote the Hornung Award, with a fan vote on Facebook accounting for a 17th vote. The winner will be honored at a banquet in Louisville, Ky., in January.
West Virginia WR Tavon Austin won the award in 2012.