Before the 2019 season began, Badger fans knew little of what they could expect from newly reinstated junior wide receiver Quintez Cephus.
Without a doubt, he blew us all away.
So far this season, Cephus brought the heat to every game. Totaling three catches for 39 receiving yards in the season opener against the University of South Florida, Cephus showed his intention to demonstrate what we’ve all been waiting for. His first performance served as only a preview of what was to come.
The Badgers then took down Central Michigan in a remarkable 61–0 victory, while Cephus totaled a whopping six catches for 130 receiving yards as well as two touchdowns.
“He’s even better than the Quintez he was before,” Jonathan Taylor told the Wisconsin State Journal. “That just shows the type of work ethic he has. The entire time, he was working. He came in and didn’t miss a beat at all.”
Since 2016, the Badgers anxiously awaited the return of this star. Cephus’ return is especially crucial during a time in which Jack Coan is continuing to surprise.
Due to an injury, Cephus missed most of the 2017 season. He then struggled with legal issues carrying into the 2018 season, but was officially cleared and reinstated as a student and player starting this fall.
Starting quarterback Coan continues to show consistency with Cephus, as well as other receivers such as Jake Ferguson, Kendric Pryor and Aron Cruickshank.
Coan also spoke of Cephus to WSJ.
“It’s just amazing how un-rusty he is, if that makes sense,” Coan said. “You’d think a person that sat out that long wouldn’t be as good right away coming back, but I feel like he hasn’t missed a beat. It’s been awesome to have him.”
The two served the Badgers as a dynamic duo throughout the season thus far, and Cephus is currently leading the team with 13 targets.
Cephus spoke about his return with WSJ.
“It’s great” Cephus said. “We all know that we have a chance to get the ball when we’re in. It gives us the challenge of getting open and winning fast. It’s definitely helping our receiving group, the way Jack is playing.”
Not only are Badger fans impressed with Cephus’ performance this season, but head coach Paul Chryst is inspired by what the star receiver has already done for the team thus far.
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“He certainly gives us a great energy.” Chryst said. “He missed a year playing with a group that he loves and in a game that he loves. When you get it back — there is a spirit about him that we would all be crazy not to see and appreciate and learn from.”
The No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers are set to face off against the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall on Saturday morning. After two blowouts, it’s safe to say the Badgers are well equipped to take on a hefty Michigan defense.
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Facing the Wolverines will inevitably be an uphill battle for this strong Wisconsin offense. However, after almost giving up a win to unranked Army, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has more to worry about when facing the aggressive Badgers at home.
Wide receivers, especially Cephus, will inevitably be put to the test. Already totaling over 16 yards per catch this season, pressure lies on the shoulders of Cephus to perform after proving himself to be a top target for the Badgers. Along with other top receivers Danny Davis, Ferguson, Pryor and A.J. Taylor, Cephus will have to have a good showing if the Badgers are to triumph.
The Badgers are not only hoping to extend their winning streak — they’re expected to take down one of their biggest match-ups of the season. They need all of their hottest receivers, especially Cephus, to really prove themselves as a top team in the league.