Despite having three players who each started at least three games last year, there is another quarterback who is chomping at the bit for his chance to play. Ranked as the 15th best quarterback coming out of high school, Bart Houston still flew a little under the radar. His high school, De La Salle, despite being one of the top programs in the country, gave Houston few chances to really showcase his immense talents. Despite this, Houston received offers from seven schools including Arizona, UCLA and Washington as well as Wisconsin.
Houston has the prototypical size one looks for in a quarterback (6-4, 217) and has the strong arm the Badgers desperately needed last season. Though not much of a runner, Houston has enough athleticism to move around in the pocket and ran for 19 touchdowns his senior year of high school to go along with 16 passing touchdowns.
But can Houston compete for the job this year with a log-jam of experience above him? I think he can.
Though Joel Stave and Curt Phillips look like the front-runners, Houston’s combination of arm-strength, mobility in the pocket, and a reputation as being a winner (he posted a 38-1 record as a starter in high school) give him a chance to make this quarterback dilemma even more interesting. Houston told the Wisconsin State Journal that his arm is in great shape after suffering a shoulder injury in the preseason last year. ”I’m 110 percent,” he said. ”I’m actually throwing the ball harder and farther now. It feels great.”
With Houston surpassing Danny O’Brien in the tentative depth chart, will the redshirt freshman get a chance to see the field this year? Hopefully the big-armed and surprisingly mobile quarterback with experience this year can quickly become the next Scott Tolzien as a steadying presence at quarterback for the future.