MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The parents of former Wisconsin Badgers receiver Jared Abbrederis have never been with him on the field, but they’ve been by his side every step of the way — and they’ll be there as their son takes the biggest step of his football life.
“This has been a dream of mine every since I’ve been a little kid,” Jared Abbrederis said.
Former Wisconsin Badgers star Jared Abbrederis is on the cusp of having his dream come true.
The NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, May 8th, and the receiver stands a solid chance of being selected anywhere from the third to the sixth round.
“Having him be as successful as his is, you know, just lights up the whole town,” Dave Woyak said.
Woyak was Abbrederis’ position coach in high school. He also teaches elementary school, and he’s seen first hand how much Abbrederis is admired.
“It’s such a great thing, because besides getting his name out there and being well-known, he’s the kind of guy that you can look up to. I mean, the way he handles himself and leads others,” Woyak said.
At Wautoma High School, Abbrederis was a three-time letter-winning quarterback and defensive back. He was an All-State performer and state champion in both football and track.
Everyone at Wautoma High School is proud of Jared Abbrederis. In fact, that stretches to the entire city of 2,000! But no one more so than Lisa and Scott Abbrederis — Jared’s parents. They’re a couple of childhood sweethearts who grew up in West Allis. From Day One, Jared’s journey has been their journey.
Lisa Abbrederis has been working at Christianos Pizza and Catering in Wautoma for years.
Jared Abbrederis’ success has given his parents celebrity status, but they don’t seek the spotlight.
Many of Lisa Abbrederis’ customers don’t know that her son could be playing professional football this fall.
“It is very exciting. It’s very surreal. I think all of his college football was surreal. I still felt like I was sitting and watching him on his high school field. But now — the NFL? I mean, it just seems like a dream,” Lisa Abbrederis said.
It’s a dream Lisa Abbrederis says Jared shared one night after bedtime prayers when he was just five years old.
“On my way out of the room Jared said ‘Mom, you know what I want to be when I grow up?’ And I said ‘what Jared?’ And he said ‘I want to play in the NFL.’ I kind of sat there and thought ‘okay, well — that’s a lofty dream, which hardly anybody gets that,’ but I just looked at him and I said ‘Jared, you can do anything, as long as you work hard.’ That dream is actually becoming a reality,” Lisa Abbrederis said.
The dream might not be coming true if not for the belief Scott Abbrederis had in his son.
When no Division 1 schools came calling, Scott Abbrederis picked up the phone and urged the Wisconsin staff to watch Jared’s high school highlights — which he sent himself.
“He had some offers at the D-2 level — and that wasn’t good enough for him. He said ‘there’s another level above that, Dad. I want to play with those guys because I can.’ So when he told me that, I heard his heart, and I wanted to make that come true for him,” Scott Abbrederis said.
From walk-on scout team quarterback to All-American wide receiver, the rest is history.
In a couple days, Jared Abbrederis’ professional football future should unfold.
Regardless of where he’s picked in the draft, his father believes he’ll make it.
Either way, he says he’s proud.
“I’m proud of him for the man he is. He’s a humble guy. He stands on his faith. He doesn’t get deterred. But with that comes a lot of responsibility, and he’s held that part of the deal up,” Scott Abbrederis said.
If and when Jared Abbrederis’ name is called in this week’s NFL Draft, his parents will be ecstatic, and of course, given a choice…
“Well the Packers would be great! I’m thinking, ‘I couldn’t get doubly blessed — but I suppose I could!'” Lisa Abbrederis said.