By TOM LEA
MADISON – Approximately 15 seconds of vision, speed and desire, sophomore wide receiver Kenzel Doe may have taken the job from one of the nation’s more electrifying punt return men a season ago.
With that 82-yard punt return for a touchdown, Doe not only jumpstarted a dormant Badgers team and even more downtrodden Camp Randall Stadium crowd, but he also sparked his rise up the special teams depth chart.
“I listed him as the No. 1 punt returner,” head coach Bret Bielema said during his Monday press conference. “With Jared Abbrederis coming back into it — if he plays this weekend — I think we’ll want to limit his role in some capacity.
“Plus Kenzel has been intriguing to me since I first laid eyes on him during film to watch him in high school camp, to watching him in our practices and stuff.”
During fall camp Bielema said he was hoping to limit the touches Abbrederis got on special teams so he could ensure his health throughout the length of a long season. Abbrederis, who missed last week’s game with a concussion and is still listed as day-to-day, said he wanted to retain his role as punt returner, mostly because he really enjoyed playing in that realm of the game.
But as he slowly works his way back into playing time, Bielema has decided to go with his shifty and quick sparkplug in Doe.
“He’s exciting,” Bielema said. “He’s got a burst. I think he’s fast, but I think he’s really fast when people are chasing him. There are just certain players that have that element to them that they have the ability to run faster when people are chasing them.
“I think he’s one of those guys.”
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