austin ramesh

BY MIKE LUCAS Senior Writer


MADISON, Wis. — No one can accuse tight end Troy Fumagalli of not having both oars in the water. Especially when it comes to respecting Wisconsin's opponent in the Cotton Bowl.

Fumagalli knows a little something about Western Michigan from an insider's perspective that should bode well in preparation for the Broncos, because he certainly won't take them lightly.

As a point of reference, he said, "I grew up playing with some of their guys."

One of them is Austin Guido, a special teams player for the Broncos. Guido and Fumagalli are both alums of Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois, 40 miles west of Chicago.

Fumagalli also is very familiar with Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis, who's from Wheaton Warrenville South High School, a 30-minute drive from Aurora.

"He's a very good player," Fumagalli said.

How good? The 6-foot-3, 213-pound Davis is the career Football Bowl Subdivision leader in receiving yards with 5,212. The previous record-holder was Nevada's Trevor Insley, who collected 5,005 yards between 1996 and 1999.

Davis has 326 career receptions and 51 touchdowns. For context, Brandon Williams and Jared Abbrederis are Wisconsin's all-time co-leaders in catches (202) and Lee Evans holds the school mark in receiving yards (3,140).

This season, Davis has caught 91 passes for 1,427 yards and 18 touchdowns. For more context, UW's wide receivers have combined for a total of 93 catches (Peavy, Wheelwright, Rushing, Cephus, Taylor).

"It will be an exciting challenge for us as a secondary," said Wisconsin cornerbackSojourn Shelton. "He runs good routes, solid routes. He can go get the ball no matter where you put it."

Davis was not only the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year — Randy Moss and Greg Jennings are previous winners — but he was the offensive MVP of the MAC championship game. Davis had eight catches for 144 yards and one TD — a 70-yard pass from quarterback Zach Terrell — in Western Michigan's 29-23 win over Ohio at Ford Field in Detroit.

After rattling off all of Davis' qualities, such as size, strength, speed after the catch, Ohio coach Frank Solich said, "He obviously is a great player. There's no question about it. He's a big-time receiver."


Photo: Wisconsin Badgers

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