Robert Wheelwright Establishing Himself Among Wisconsin Badgers Wide Receivers


Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Robert Wheelwright might be the biggest surprise so far in 2015. After being virtually non-existent in the 2014 receiving game, Wheelwright is quickly becoming a favorite option for quarterback Joel Stave.

READ ALSO: Joel Stave Finally Ready to Lead the Badgers

Wheelwright, a junior, had just one reception last season. Yeah, it was a big reception, a memorable reception, a game-sealing, axe-winning reception, but it was just one reception in double-digit games. He had just two catches the year prior, making it a grand total (pause to do the math) of three receptions in two seasons for the Badgers.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

So far Wheelwright has eight grabs for 97 yards and three touchdowns. His eight catches trail both Alex Erickson (11 catches) and Dare Ogunbowale (nine catches), his 97 yards are second to Erickson (146 yards) and his three touchdowns leads the team as no other player has multiple receiving touchdowns.

The stats are one thing, and yes, Wheelwright scored two of those touchdowns and grabbed six passes against a pretty weak opponent in Miami (OH).

What’s more important is how comfortable he looks so far this season despite having caught just three passes in his career heading into a week one matchup against Alabama. In that game, Wheelwright looked calm and collective and helped the Badgers offense make a little headway in the passing game.

Then came Miami (OH) where Wheelwright vacuumed in the receptions to lead the Badgers. And they were impressive receptions, to top it off.

Wheelwright is building a relationship with Stave and is quickly becoming a reliable No. 2 option behind Erickson. Many, myself included, thought that Tanner McEvoy would quickly become the go-to guy beyond Erickson, and while he may still do that, right now he looks more like a slot receiver despite his stature.

Wisconsin wide receiver Robert Wheelwright makes a touchdown catch against Miami (OH). Jim Oxley photo

Wheelwright, however, looks like a guy you can line up opposite Erickson, send him on a flag to the sidelines, and throw the ball up high and outside and let him come down with it.

Wheelwright, speaking after the Badgers 58-0 win over Miami (OH), said he and Stave are getting more and more in sync each week.

"“Yeah just kind of being out there, being with Joel and being able to catch the ball once he throws it is a great confidence booster and just being out there and being able to make plays is just great for my confidence. I just felt me and Joel’s combination and us throwing the ball to each other has been great.”"

The Badgers will need the duo to continue playing well as the tougher parts of the schedule approach.

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