August 28, 2010

Fredrick returns from injury, helps Memorial win

MADISON - Jordan Fredrick, one of Wisconsin's 10 verbals for the 2011 class, thought it was an ordinary play during his Madison Memorial high school's season opener against rival Madison East.

Ebrahim Amara took the handoff from Alex Lockwood and broke to the outside on a sweep. In a defensive struggle that still saw zeroes on the board early in the third quarter, Fredrick tried getting in front of the sweep in order to disrupt the blocking pattern.

Then what he thought was unthinkable, happened.

"That was a very scary play," Fredrick said. "It was a sweep outside and they had the lead blocker. I went out to hit the lead blocker and he dove at my knee. I hyper extended it, but I thought it was an ACL when I was just lying there.

"It was painful."

From the press box, it looked anything but good for the Spartans standout player and lone division one prospect. He was writhing around of the Lussier Stadium grass until the trainers rushed out to attend him.

After a five-minute period, Fredrick eventually popped up and walked off the field much to the delight of the fans in attendance.

Once on the sideline, Fredrick immediately had an ice pack tied around his knee and stayed seated for a decent chunk of time.

Then it started to feel better.

"When he (the trainer) was checking it, it started going away," Fredrick said. "I felt like I could come back in later and I just waited until the fourth quarter to come back in."

With his team clinging to a 6-0 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Fredrick made his return to game action. With the Spartans facing a third and 10 from East's 19 yard line, Joe Ferguson (Barry Alvarez's grandson) hoisted a fade in Fredrick's direction.

Thought it was a tad under thrown, Fredrick made a sweet adjustment, cut inside the defensive back on the same knee that had been bothering him, positioned himself to make a leap, dove and hauled in the game-sealing touchdown pass just across the goal line.

"Conditioning wise I think everyone was gassing it," Fredrick said. "It affected us a lot. I know it affected me. Then in that fourth quarter, I could add speed even though I was pretty sore. So that helped."

Memorial eventually went on to win 15-0, an impressive performance by the Spartan defense considering it played most of the second half without Fredrick on the field.

"Our defense shut them out so I'm proud of that," Fredrick said. "Our offense had a little struggle, but like Coach Gunnelson (offensive coordinator) said, he knows exactly what we've got to do to fix that.

"Come Monday we're going to fix that. We're going to be a lot better next Friday."

A busy summer:

Prior to committing to Wisconsin in early July, Fredrick was making his rounds on the summer camp circuit. The busy prospect started off with a NIKE camp in Oregon before heading to Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota State and Wisconsin for their summer camps.

He originally planned to camp at Michigan State, but Fredrick cancelled that trip once he committed to being a Badger. He also did a FBU camp in Madison for three days midway through the summer.

"It was a long summer doing all the camps," Fredrick said. "I did six or seven camps. It was a long summer that got me pretty exhausted. It was just nice coming back with the team and everything.

"It was good getting back."

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Fredrick has great size for a safety prospect. When he arrives on the UW campus next summer that is where the Madison native will hone his skills in an attempt to become a legitimate safety option down the road.

This summer, though, Fredrick has been mostly focused on getting himself in the best shape he can.

"I've gotten a lot better," Fredrick said. "Pretty much right now I've got to get into shape. That's it. Obviously I could have played a lot better today. I'm pretty disappointed but it's just getting in shape so we can all perform a bit better."

Looking ahead:

With an ice pack tied around his knee after the game, Fredrick admitted the area affected was rather sore. He didn't think it would cause him to miss much, if any at all, game time as the high school season picks up momentum heading into week two.

"It's pretty sore," Fredrick, who finished the game against East with four receptions for 40 yards, a touchdown, one lost fumble and a handful of tackles on the defensive side, said. "But next week I should be full go and everything."

With a sophomore quarterback in Joe Ferguson leading the charge for an offense that likes to run spread formations, there will likely be a period of time before the unit functions at its highest level.

But playing with Ferguson during his first start left a solid impression in Fredrick's mind.

"Obviously being his first start, at the beginning of the game you could tell he was nervous," Fredrick said. "He made good throws though. His receivers didn't follow through right away, including me too. But in the second half we stepped it up.

"For his first game and being a sophomore that was a phenomenal game."

Fredrick's Memorial team hosts Madison West next Friday night in their home opener.

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