The sophomores are rising. A.J. Taylor has the size and physicality to fight for jump balls and Quintez Cephus has the speed to blow past just about anybody. But neither of them will be quite as impactful as the senior wideout Jazz Peavy.
At 6’0″, 184 pounds, Peavy gives the offense a lot of options. To just label him a wideout would not do him justice. In fact, with his outstanding junior season came a run play named after him: The Jazz Sweep.
The speedster totaled 318 yards rushing on only 21 attempts. The jet, “Jazz,” sweep offered the Badger offense a nice change of pace play and often sparked huge momentum swings in the 2016 season. Peavy average 15.1 yards per carry, rushed for one touchdown, which came on his longest run of 71 yards.
This though, is merely one aspect of the wideout’s game.
Peavy edged out tight end Troy Fumagalli to lead the team in receiving yards with 635. He also led the team in receiving touchdowns with five. But what Peavy offers is more than consistency on the field. On the sidelines he always seems calm, cool and collected and leads this group by example.
With young and impressionable guys like Cephus and Taylor rounding out the receivers, Peavy’s mentality is crucial to sustained success, not just in the air or on the ground, but for the team overall.
Back to the two sophomores though, both Cephus and Taylor figure to make huge impacts as the 2017 season progresses.
In 2016 neither Cephus nor Taylor broke the hundred yard mark for the season, but both made huge, momentum sparking plays just like Peavy did all season long. It seems they had a great teacher.
Taylor had a 35 yard catch in traffic on a fade route while Cephus made a 57 yard snag for his longest of the 2016 season. Cephus, much like Peavy, can also make an impact on the ground.
In 2016 Cephus had 14 attempts for 44 yards on a 8.2 yard average. All of those also came on jet sweeps. With Peavy now solidified as the number one receiver Cephus may step into the roll Peavy served last year.
Peavy, on the other hand, may take on more receiving duties and make more momentum plays with his hands instead of relying on the “Jazz Sweep.”