Camping with the Badgers 2013: Quarterbacks

It's the 2nd of our triple pack of previews to end our "Camping with the Badgers" series for the 2013 season and we've finally come to the position anyone and everyone wants to know the answer to…. Who will be the starting quarterback for the Wisconsin Badgers on Aug. 31 agasint UMass? 

Well, there is some good news and some bad news in that regard, so that's where we're going to start. If you want to know what our staff thinks about that very question you can check it out here, as we answered it just last week. 

However, as camp draws closer it's time to explore the QB group just a bit further in-depth. 

Good News:

There are two quarterbacks with starting experience in the Badger QB battle and that's an improvement in and of itself over last season, where not a single QB had taken a starting snap in a Badger uniform before. That's a huge positive heading into a season where there are 23 seniors who are hungry not only for a Big Ten title to finish out their careers, but to finally win one of those damn Rose Bowls.

Bad News:

UW could be looking at relying on their 3rd straight transfer QB to start opening day and that trend needs to stop if Wisconsin is going to find some long term answers at the QB position. Even though that's the bad news, there is a silver lining in the fact that said transfer, Tanner McEvoy, does have three years left and therefore if he wins the job we could be looking at the long term answer that's been missing. 

Questions Entering Camp:

What Does Tanner McEvoy Look Like? By now most of you (and I) have seen his YouTube footage and that's all well and good, but we should also know that tape and highlight tapes especially, can make anyone look like a world beater. I want to see and hear reports of McEvoy in camp before passing a final judgement one way or the other. If the tape isn't lying and that version of McEvoy shows up in a Badger uniform we could be in for something special. 

Are Fans Counting out Stave too Quickly? In my three years of covering Joel Stave (yes, he's in his 3rd year at UW) I've learned one thing and that's to never count this guy out. Does he have the speed of Phillips and McEvoy? No. But they don't possess his arm either and that's an equally dangerous weapon - one we all almost saw win the Rose Bowl this past season in his only play of the game. So, I'm not counting him out and neither should you, especially since we're talking about just a redshirt sophomore at this point - his growth pattern has been tremendous to this point and don't expect it to plateu anytime soon.

Will We See a QB Controversy in season? Last year there wasn't much of a controversy as it was plain to see Danny O'Brien was not the answer at QB, Stave proved he could win football games at the highest of levels and Curt Phillips showed he could manage games and master the 2 minute drill - point is all of them brought something different to the table and if it weren't for injury to Stave there would've been no need for Phillips to play. This season though we may see more than one QB playing to start the season - something Gary Andersen would like to avoid, but if there isn't true seperation between two QB's you have to let them play it out on the field (at least for a game or two) and then chose going into the B1G season - so watch out for a QB controversy if no one grabs the bull by the horns after scrimmage No. 2.

Player(s) to Watch:

Tanner McEvoy - OBVIOUS reason here, he's the one QB we haven't seen in a Badger uniform and we all know he's going to compete for the starting job. 

Bart Houston - It was clear in the spring that this Elite 11 QB was behind Stave and Phillips on the mental side of the game. He's got the strong arm that can help the passing game and enough wheels to be a danger running the ball, but it will be interesting to see if he's put something together mentally and if he does end up making a surprise run into the battle. No way he ends up the starting QB unless the plague hits the position, but his growth from spring to summer and now into camp will be fun to watch. 

Probable Depth Chart:

Position 1st team 2nd team
QB Tanner McEvoy Joel Stave

As we said last week it was a unanimous pick of McEvoy as the starter, but it's not going to be one we are all that confident in just yet. Call it a hunch or a feeling in the gut or whatever you want but as long as McEvoy shows consistency he'll win the job.

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com

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