His nickname is “The Alien.”
As his coach put it, he does things that are out of this world.
UW-La Crosse junior wide receiver Jack Studer has had a monster season statistically, as the team heads into a home matchup at noon Saturday against 12th-ranked Aurora (11-0).
The 6-foo-2, 205-pounder has hauled in 56 catches, for 1,236 yards, and 12 touchdowns in 11 games for the fourth-ranked, top-seeded Eagles (10-1). The success led him to be named first team all-conference.
Coach Matt Janus has been at UW-La Crosse for a string of great receivers, who have had similar success.
From Nick Holcomb in 2017 to Cole Spieker in 2018, and Cam Sorenson and Jake Simuncak the last two seasons. He says Studer is right up there with all of them.
“He’s just the next guy in line with all of them,” Janus said on WIZM’s La Crosse Talk PM last week. “When I watch Jack, he combines the best stuff that all of those guys had. He has phenomenal speed, he has great ball tracking skills and, the scariest thing is, when he gets the ball in his hands, he’s really hard to tackle.”
Holcomb holds the UW-L record for receiving yards in a season (1,401) but if the Eagles continue winning, Studer could overtake that this season. Studer would need eight more touchdown receptions, though, to catch Holcomb’s 20 bomb in 2017.
Studer could finish his career the UW-L receiving leader in yards and touchdowns. He’s fifth-all time in touchdowns (23) and 11th in yards (1,715). Studer could catch Scott Burnoski, who, from 2001-2004, finished his career with 3,004 yards and 30 touchdowns. Studer would need a ridiculous senior year to overtake Burnoski’s 195 career receptions. Right now, Studer’s at 97 — 56 this season.
Studer’s success has coincided with the success that UW-L quarterback Keyser Helterbrand has had this season. The senior was named WIAC Offensive Player of the Year. Janus believes both players help and play off on another — beyond that of a QB-WR relationship, but that, too.
“I think there are some times where Keyser just throws a ball up for Jack and he’s able to make a play, and there are other times that Keyser has extended plays with his feet and allowed Jack to get open.”
From Helterbrand’s perspective, Studer is one of the best players he’s ever played with and his roommate the last two years. The two have reached a trust level that requires no words.
“There are times in a game where we just make eye contact,” Helterbrand said. “I know where he’s going to be. I can put the ball up on 50-50 shots and I have a good feeling he’s going to make the play.”
Studer has gone over the 100-yard mark in all but two games this season. The two in which he didn’t get over 100, the starters came out early, being they won those games by a combined score of 103-14.
Studer’s had many highlights, including another one-handed touchdown catch in the first half of last week’s 62-7 victory over Minnesota-Morris in the first round of the D3 Playoffs. The 62 points broke a program postseason record.
TOP PHOTO: FILE – Jack Studer hauls in a touchdown against UW-Oshkosh. Credit: Garvey Images