CHICAGO- It doesn't sound like Wisconsin's quarterback battle will be ending any time soon. In fact, it's about to get a major shake up. The Badgers finished spring camp with Joel Stave and Curt Phillips leading the pack at quarterback, but the race is set to expand into a three-man race when fall camp opens on Aug. 5.
Tanner McEvoy is on campus after transferring from Arizona Western Community College, and Badgers head coach Gary Andersen confirmed at the Big Ten media days that the 6-foot-6 dual threat quarterback will get a chance to win the starting job this fall.
"[Tanner] deserves that opportunity [to compete] because he's a junior college player with three years left to play," Andersen said Wednesday. "Anytime we recruit a junior college player he's going to be given the opportunity to walk in to fall camp and compete and get reps with the ones and twos."
Andersen said McEvoy's biggest selling point is that he fits what Andersen and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig are looking for at the quarterback position.
"We want a quarterback that can win with his mind, win with his arm, and win with his legs," Andersen said. "In turn, that will force him in to leadership situations … where the offensive linemen look at him and it's third and seven, and they know all they have to do as an offensive lineman is pick up this blitz, and our quarterback will do everything he can to get that first down."
"On tape McEvoy is exactly what I said- he can beat you with his arm, his mind, and his legs. He proved that … in junior college football. We'll see how it carries over. On top of that, I think he's a fit socially and I think he's a fit academically."
Andersen admitted that McEvoy would likely have a steeper learning curve than Phillips or Stave when the quarterbacks get their playbooks in the next few weeks. However, Andersen said any work McEvoy put in with the team during player-organized practices in the summer could help him catch up to Phillips and Stave.
"It will be a three-man race. I have no timeline on it," Andersen said, before joking that the Badgers might not even make a decision until the season starts on Aug. 31.
"We may jog out there the first play of the game with two quarterbacks on the field and see what happens from there," Andersen joked. "So who knows, it will be interesting."
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