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Thursday, October 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 39.0° F  Fair
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Badger QB quandary
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Badger QB wannabe Tanner McEvoy.
Badger QB wannabe Tanner McEvoy.
Credit:UW Athletic Communications

Gary Andersen has yet to run a practice, call a timeout, or signal in a play as Wisconsin's head football coach, but many are already evaluating his job performance based on the announcement of the 2013 recruiting class. Andersen is being praised for holding on to all but a few of the recruits originally wooed by his predecessor, Bret Bielema, and adding a few of his own.

In particular, fans and talk radio hosts are abuzz over the commitment of Tanner McEvoy, a 6'6" dual-threat quarterback originally from New Jersey who redshirted his freshman season at South Carolina before playing a year of junior college football in Arizona. The excitement over McEvoy is due to his choosing Wisconsin over heavyweight programs like Florida and Oregon.

McEvoy will join a crowded quarterback corps that includes Curt Phillips, Joel Stave, Danny O'Brien, Bart Houston, Jon Budmayr and Chase Knox. Three of those guys - Phillips, Stave and O'Brien - took turns calling signals this past season, and Houston is a favorite on fan message boards despite not yet having taken a meaningful snap. But the recruitment of McEvoy suggests that Andersen's staff feels the need to further expand its options.

The situation recalls the months leading up to the 2009 season, when the competition for Wisconsin's starting quarterback job was between incumbent Dustin Sherer (remember him?) and Phillips (yes, he's been here that long), with junior Scott Tolzien trailing behind and rarely mentioned in serious discussions. Of course, Tolzien went on to start every game of the 2009 and 2010 seasons, setting school records for accuracy and efficiency, and was San Francisco's third-string quarterback in the Super Bowl.

My point? Don't sleep on Chase Knox, Badgers fans.

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