August 24, 2006

Beckum morphing into offensive weapon

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Badgers are just a little more than a week away from playing the first game of the 2006 campaign.

So far the newspapers and Internet sites have been filled with banter about A) replacing the talented receiving duo of Jonathan Orr and Brandon Williams and B) filling the backfield with a competent replacement for the departed Brian Calhoun. The trio all made it to the NFL after being drafted this past April.

While the aforementioned players were top-notch receiving threats last season - they combined for a whopping 152 receptions, 2,354 yards and 16 touchdowns - one other player was involved in the Badgers' highly-successful offensive machine in 2005.

Owen Daniels.

Daniels, the oft-used pass-catching tight end, recorded 22 receptions, 268 yards and four touchdowns last season, and he too is working in the NFL.

If the offense is the "big question" heading into season, which begins Sept. 2 in Cleveland, then, in descending order, the tight end position might be thought of as discussion C.

Who will replace Daniels as the pass-catching tight end?

Well, during the Badgers' fall training camp, sophomore Travis Beckum, a tight end convert, has looked the part as he's seemingly collected the most receptions of those vying to fill the tight end spots this fall.

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