Gary Andersen is in rebuild mode since getting the Wisconsin Badgers head coaching job on Dec. 19. Andersen understands there are key players he must acquire for the Badgers to be competitive in 2013. Will Andersen and Wisconsin be able to attract one of the top quarterbacks on National Signing Day?
As of right now, Andersen has turned all of his focus towards junior college quarterback Tanner McEvoy, who is the top dual-threat recruit at his position in the upcoming class. McEvoy is a four-star recruit, something Wisconsin is not used to seeing from an out of state player, and could make fans in Madison very happy if he elected to sign with the team.
Even though the 6-foot-6 quarterback is scheduled to visit with Andersen at the school on Jan. 30, he also has plans to see three other top schools. However, what Russell Wilson did for Wisconsin will never go unnoticed as players around the country saw what the Badgers are capable of with a talented quarterback at the helm. Not to mention, Wilson’s status in the NFL helps Wisconsin’s cause because it shows what the school can do for its players.
Obviously, running the ball is what the Badgers are all about but Andersen intends on including some of his own magic assuming he can get a quarterback to run the offense properly. McEvoy has exceptional speed and a good arm that is perfect for a spread offense, something Andersen has stated he wants to run at Wisconsin.
However, the power run offense will still be very much in effect this upcoming season and that is certainly something McEvoy will think about. One of the good things with that is the successful running game will help McEvoy when he passes as well as when he pulls the ball down and takes off. Once again, this is something Wilson did very well in 2011.
Several scouts have stated that McEvoy would not be able to play quarterback at the professional level and would have to be converted to a wide receiver to get picked up. Sound familiar? Although nobody ever said Wilson would have to convert to a different position, many were convinced he would not be a starting quarterback in the NFL due to his size.
How can Wisconsin possibly convince McEvoy to sign with them opposed to the Florida Gators, Oregon Ducks or West Virginia Mountaineers? Wisconsin is one of the last teams he will be visiting which means if Andersen plays his cards right he can have a final impact that could stick with McEvoy when it comes time for him to make his decision. Also, Madison is one of the best places to play in all of college football because of the electricity in the stands. Not to mention, three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances is nothing to be shy about.
McEvoy finished a terrific year at Arizona Western College where he passed for 1,813 yards and 24 touchdowns while completing 61.0 percent of his throws in eight games. The reason he played for a junior college team and not a Division I school is due to an incident that took place this past summer. McEvoy, a reserve QB with the South Carolina Gamecocks, was arrested for driving under the influence as a minor. He was suspended from the team and decided it was best to play ball at a junior college with the hopes of signing with a Division I school in 2013.
This is something the Badgers will consider, but I seriously doubt Andersen cares too much about what happened in McEvoy’s past as long as that is where it stays. Andersen is more interested in the three years of eligibility that comes with McEvoy.
Hopefully, Wisconsin will be able to pull this off because if they do it could very well mean a fourth consecutive trip to the Big Ten Championship with another Rose Bowl berth on the line.