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MADISON - Just days after quarterback Joe Brennan decided to leave the program, two more players from his recruiting class have decided to follow him out the door.
Deciding to explore their transfer options, junior wide receiver Manasseh Garner and sophomore defensive back Jameson Wright have left the Wisconsin program, UW head coach Bret Bielema announced Tuesday in a statement.
“I met with Manasseh and Jameson and they both informed me they wanted to pursue their options of playing somewhere else,” Bielema said in the release. “In talking to them, I realized this was a tough decision for each of them because they enjoyed their time as Badgers but it was something they felt was in their best interests.
“I told them we would help in any way we could to facilitate their transition to a new school. Both Manasseh and Jameson are great kids who come from terrific families and were tremendous representatives of our program. We wish them both the best of luck.”
Garner, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., who never redshirted, played in 20 games as a Badger. He made his UW debut against Austin Peay on Sept. 25, 2010, lining up at both wide receiver and defensive end. He spent most of his freshman season on the defensive side of the ball and was a contributor on special teams. He made the permanent switch to wide receiver as a sophomore and caught two passes for 45 yards after coming back from sports hernia surgery last fall.
Bielema had called Garner 'a Greek god' during fall camp, but also said he was struggling with the mental side.
“You hope someday it jumps into him, clicks into him,” Bielema said of Garner. “He’s gifted. He’s athletic (but) probably not the hardest going all the time. That’s what he’s got to push himself through.”
Wright was in his third year with the Badgers. The Fort Pierce, Fla., native redshirted as a true freshman then did not see game action last year. During the second week of fall camp, Wright had rotated in with the second team, but was not listed on the initial depth chart.
Both players took their official visit together in September 2009 when Wisconsin hosted Fresno State. Wright - a two-star player ranked No.113 cornerback in the country by Scout.com - committed on the visit while Garner - a three-star player ranked the No.29 outside linebacker in the country - committed a day later.