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Could the Air Raid Produce an All-Conference QB for Wisconsin Football?

Is this finally the year?



Wisconsin football; Badgers QB Braedyn Locke
Wisconsin quarterback Braedyn Locke (18) is shown during practice Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Wisconsin football program has a rich history of producing talented running backs who have excelled in the Big Ten Conference and won countless national accolades.

However, it has been a while since a Badgers quarterback earned All-Big Ten honors. The last UW signal caller to garner all-conference honors was Russell Wilson in 2011 — that’s more than a decade.

Wilson was named the first-team All-Big Ten quarterback and also earned the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year award that season. Wilson was an outstanding one-year rental who led the Badgers to the Big Ten Championship game and a Rose Bowl appearance.

But I think that a more than decade-long drought will come to an end in 2023 because of a similar set of circumstances.

Wisconsin Football Will Have an All-Conference QB This Season

The culture surrounding the Wisconsin football quarterback position changed this offseason when they brought in Phil Longo to implement the air raid. His credibility is what landed the Badgers three impressive signal callers in the transfer portal.

His credibility landed the Badgers three impressive signal callers in the transfer portal — one of which I believe could take the passing offense to new heights and earn a few accolades because of it.

Enter Tanner Mordecai, a transfer from Southern Methodist University (SMU), who has the potential to break that decade-plus-long drought of Wisconsin QBs failing to make an all-conference list under the guidance of head coach Luke Fickell and offensive coordinator Phil Longo.

Mordecai joined the Wisconsin football team with an impressive resume. During his time at SMU, he showcased his abilities as a competent and dynamic quarterback. Over the last two seasons, he’s thrown for 7,152 yards with 72 touchdowns. The Texas native’s poise, arm strength, and accuracy make him a formidable threat in the passing game.

Pair that with Longo and his ability to mold signal-callers and maximize their potential throughout his coaching career — and you’ve got something UW hasn’t had in a long time — a weapon at QB.

Longo is known for his innovative play-calling and ability to exploit opposing defenses, so his offensive scheme will provide Mordecai with the platform to showcase his talents. Longo’s emphasis on a balanced attack, incorporating both the running and passing games, will create opportunities for Mordecai to shine.

Mordecai will have the luxury of working with a talented supporting cast. The Badgers boast a robust running game, which will alleviate pressure on their new quarterback. The presence of a formidable offensive line, known for its physicality and ability to provide protection, will give Mordecai the time he needs to make precise throws and exploit defenses. I’ll even go out on a limb and predict he will throw for 3,000 yards in 2023.

Final Thoughts

Tanner Mordecai‘s transfer to Wisconsin football comes with a hunger to prove himself at the highest level of CFB. The desire to make a significant impact and etch his name in the annals of Badgers history will fuel his determination to succeed.

This motivation, paired with his natural talent, work ethic, and the guidance of Fickell and Longo, will propel Mordecai and the Badgers passing attack to new heights.

His arrival at the University of Wisconsin brings renewed hope for the Badgers quarterback position. With the guidance of head coach Luke Fickell and offensive coordinator Phil Longo, Mordecai possesses the necessary tools to become the first Wisconsin quarterback in recent years to earn All-Big Ten honors. His impressive track record, combined with the supporting cast and offensive line, sets the stage for a promising season.

As the 2023 college football campaign unfolds, keep an eye on Mordecai as he aims to make a significant impact and solidify his place among the conference’s elite.

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Trevor Lovec is a freelance sports writer, correspondent, and a diehard Northern Iowa fan. He covers Wisconsin football & basketball, plus a little Badgers recruiting.