Raise your hands if you thought Jon Budmayr was going to play in 2012... o.k., I don't see any hands up. Now, raise your hand if you thought Bart Houston was going to play in 2012.... o.k., I see a few hands up. Well, according to Bret Bielema at Badger Days in the Wisconsin Dells yesterday, neither is going to be happening.
Most of us thought Budmayr wasn't going to play because his tricky elbow and arm injury couldn't seem to be figured out. However, that's not what's going to keep him out because the seemingly snake-bit QB now requires hip surgery and will have to miss the 2012 season. He was going to be a 4th year Junior entering this season and now looks more and more likely that Budmayr may never see a significant snap again in a Badgers uniform.
Earlier in the spring it was reported that incoming star recruit, Bart Houston, would undergo surgery to remove a cyst in his throwing shoulder. He was expected to miss the start of training camp in the fall, but most assumed he would get in some work and best case scenario would only be used in an emergency and allowed to redshirt. Well, Bielema has taken any chance of him seeing the field in 2012 off the table as he will redshirt for sure and be shut down despite being ahead of schedule in his rehab from the surgery.
In my humble opinion that's exactly the right course of action. If he wasn't going to be a starter or significant back up in his true freshman year, why not allow him to fully heal from his injuries while learning the offense in a no pressure situation.
Let's not forget that this is the 2nd shoulder surgery for Houston in his young life and having gone through multiple shoulder surgeries young in my own life I can tell you shutting it down and allowing it to fully heal is the best decision they can make. It will allow him to try and correct some of the physical things that may be going wrong around the shoulder and gaining strength around it will only help avoid injury in the future.
So for 2012 Wisconsin will go with Danny O'Brien, Joel Stave, Joe Brennan, and possibly a returning Curt Phillips. I don't know about you but for me seeing Joel Stave look pretty darn good in the spring game is really huge because relying on Brennan or a completely bionic (what, he's not Robocop yet?) Phillips doesn't exactly bring me out of my seat should O'Brien go down or not pick up the offense (don't see that happening).
Whatever happens the depth at this position is questionable at best and Stave will really need to compete well in fall camp for him to have my complete confidence that we're not completely screwed without O'Brien.