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Look for Wisconsin's ‘48’ in Rose Bowl
December 28, 2011 - Burt Angeli
Wisconsin (11-2) and Menominee’s Jacob Pedersen face Oregon (11-2) in the Rose Bowl on Monday (ESPN, 4:10 p.m.).
Pedersen, a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award honoring the nation’s premier tight ends, caught 29 passes for 339 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Pedersen, a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and honorable mention All-Big Ten by the coaches, has earned the praise of Badgers coach Bret Bielema.
“We’ve had a lot of good tight ends here,” Bielema said earlier in the season. “He might be the most complete player we’ve had at that position when it’s all said and done.
“He’s an Upper Peninsula boy who has been raised the right way, works his tail off and is pretty error free.”
Pedersen (6-foot-4, 240 pounds), listed at tight end but regarded as an H-back, has also gained the respect of quarterback Russell Wilson.
“Pedersen and I have a tremendous relationship,” Wilson said. “His ability to run and his ability to catch the football are really great, and he’s truly special.”
Pedersen, who played in all 13 games with six starts, made a career-high six catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-0 rout of Oregon State.
Pedersen starred for the Menominee Maroons and did some damage against the Kingsford Flivvers.
“He was definitely a force for a high school player,” Flivver coach Chris Hofer said this fall. “He played everywhere. You definitely had to be aware of him.”
Pedersen played split end and tight end in the Maroons’ single wing offense, a “jack of all trades,” according to Chris Hofer.
Hofer thinks Pedersen caught Wisconsin’s attention in a game against Marshfield.
“He had a huge game,” said Hofer, who was there scouting the Maroons.
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