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Why Wisconsin Badgers QB Braedyn Locke is Ahead of the Curve



Wisconsin Badgers football QB Braedyn Locke
Apr 11, 2023; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin quarterback Braedyn Locke (18) is shown during practice Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Madison, Wis. — The Wisconsin Badgers have plenty of new faces in the program this spring, especially in their rebuilt quarterback room

Because of that, head coach Luke Fickell and offensive coordinator Phil Longo have worked tirelessly this spring to install their new air raid offense and get everyone up to speed ahead of fall camp. 

One of the new quarterbacks Wisconsin has under center this spring is redshirt freshman Braedyn Locke, who transferred to UW after one season under Mike Leach at Mississippi State. 

While the Texas native may be new to the Badgers, he’s not new to the playbook. In fact, Locke’s knowledge of the playbook and familiarity with Longo’s system has him ahead of the curve.

“He [Locke] is the model of consistency, and he’s gotten better with each practice,” Longo told reporters. “He and Tanner probably have the best overall understanding of the offense and just the game of football in general. They’re the most obsessed about it right now, so they put the most time in and retain well…They’re both competing to be smarter than the other one.”

Although he hasn’t been with the Wisconsin Badgers football program very long, Locke has already made a strong impression on his teammates.

Running back Cade Yacamelli even referred to him as a genius. “When I’ve talked to him outside of football, and we’ve gone over plays and such, he probably knows just as much about the offense, almost as much as Coach Longo,” said the converted safety. 

Who is Braedyn Locke, and why did he choose Wisconsin? 

Braedyn Locke is a 6-foot-1, 210-pound signal caller and former four-star recruit from Rockwall High School in Texas.

According to MaxPreps, the No. 22 QB in the 2022 recruiting cycle was a three-year varsity starter and threw for 11,182 yards and a Texas Class 6A record 128 touchdowns while completing 62.7% of his passes. 

Phil Longo first recruited Locke during his junior season as the offensive coordinator at North Carolina. The two had a previous connection they rekindled once he entered the transfer portal. 

“It’s a heck of a time to be a part of Wisconsin football, and I didn’t want to let that opportunity pass me up,” Locke told The Athletic. 

The Wisconsin Badgers new offense under Longo strongly appealed to Locke because of how much it mirrored the shotgun-spread system he ran in high school.

Locke didn’t appear in any games during his lone season with Mississippi State and joined the Badgers with four years of eligibility remaining. 

The Wisconsin Badgers are in Good Hands at QB

Tanner Mordecai is the Wisconsin Badgers unquestioned QB1 entering 2023, but Braedyn Locke’s early success is a promising sign for UW’s offense moving forward. 

There’s always a bit of uncertainty with a new offensive system and a new quarterback under center. Still, Locke’s knowledge of the playbook and familiarity with the team are helping to ease those concerns if something happened to their proven transfer QB.

“My mind has always been my edge in this game,” Locke added. “I’ve never been a fast guy, I’ve never been a big guy, so that’s gonna be what elevates me, and that’s gonna be what separates me. I take a lot of pride in that.”

Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done, and Locke will need to continue to improve and develop as the season progresses because talented options like Nick Evers and Myles Burkett aren’t far behind. But if his early success is any indication, Locke could be a big part of the Wisconsin Badgers success this season and beyond.

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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, B5Q, Saturday Blitz, and Fansided.