With only five days until the Badgers kick off their season at Lambeau Field against LSU, we have our tenth and final player to watch for in the fast-approaching 2016 season.
Junior tight end Troy Fumagalli will fill the #1 tight end sport to start the 2016-2017 season. This comes after former starting tight end Austin Traylor was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys in May this past spring.
Prior to playing for Wisconsin, Fumagalli was a three-star recruit from Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Ill. In his high school career, he accumulated 172 tackles, four sacks and six deflected passes on defense and 64 receptions for 1,770 yards on offense. He was an academic all-state selection as well as a four-time academic all-conference honoree.
Fumagalli verbally committed to UW on Sept. 12, 2012. He was redshirted his first season in 2013. In 2014, the 6’6″, 237-pound tight end earned his first letter, playing in 14 games with two starts. He finished his first season with 14 catches for 181 yards. In 2015, Fumagalli saw an increased roll when Traylor went out with a broken arm in Oct. 2015. He earned a second letter, playing in 11 games with four starts and catching 28 passes for 313 yards and one touchdown.
After committing to Wisconsin as a walk-on, Fumagalli also earned a scholarship before the start of the 2015 season. In his time with the Badgers, Fumagalli has started in six games, with 42 catches for 500 yards and one touchdown. In 2014, he was awarded Academic All-Big Ten, and in 2015 he received the All-Big Ten honorable mention.
Despite being out last Monday with a right arm injury, Fumagalli played in practice on Friday and is expected to start this Saturday against LSU. With few returning faces in the receiving corps, just announced starting quarterback Bart Houston will look to Fumagalli, especially in the red zone. With great size for a college tight end, Fumagalli will be an integral piece for the Badgers’ offense in 2016.
Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin Athletics.