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Wisconsin Football Is a Destination for Mettauer, Mordecai, Top QBs



Wisconsin Badgers football

The trajectory of Wisconsin football has undoubtedly changed since Athletic Director Chris McIntosh announced Luke Fickell as the Badgers’ head coach. That change is even more apparent with the commitments of 2024 four-star QB Mabrey Mettauer and incoming SMU transfer Tanner Mordecai. With the addition of Fickell and incoming offensive coordinator Phil Longo, one thing stands out: Madison, Wisconsin has become a prime destination for college quarterback recruits. 

Mordecai immediately changes expectations for 2023

Mordecai is no stranger to a talented QB room. The former four-star prospect began his career at Oklahoma, where he spent three seasons. In that time, Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts, and Spencer Rattler each started one season for the Sooners. 

Mordecai is also no stranger to an Air Raid offense similar to what Longo will implement at Wisconsin. At SMU, the Waco, TX native ran Mustangs head coach Rhett Lashlee’s Air Raid offense for two seasons. During that time, Mordecai threw for 7,152 yards, 72 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions, completing 66.4% of his passes.

Mordecai threw 72 touchdown passes in two seasons. Wisconsin’s all-time passing TD leader is Darrell Bevell, who threw 59 TD passes in four seasons. 

Wisconsin has more young talent at quarterback than ever

Fickell and Longo’s recruiting acumen has delivered more young quarterback talent to Madison than ever. When Mordecai’s eligibility runs out at the end of the 2023 season, Wisconsin football has a plethora of young athletes who will compete for the starting job.

Former four-star prospect Nick Evers – a transfer from Oklahoma – and incoming three-star Cole LaCrue are each enrolling this month at UW. Former three-star Myles Burkett, who red-shirted this year, is a third option at QB for Longo in 2024.

Wisconsin football fans received an early gift on Christmas Eve when Fickell secured the verbal commitment of Mettauer. Assuming that the Badgers can keep Mettauer’s commitment and no one transfers out before 2024, Longo will have an enviable pipeline of recruits to call his offense. With four impressive recruits from which to choose a starter, Wisconsin will arguably have the best QB room in the Big Ten aside from Ohio State. 

Longo and the Air Raid are raising the ceiling for Wisconsin football

Three of Wisconsin’s most-recent quarterback commits have praised Fickell’s decision to bring Longo and his version of the Air Raid offense to Madison. The one who has not done so publicly, Mordecai, spent the last two seasons running the Air Raid.

In an interview with Ryan Harings of Locked on Badgers, LaCrue said, “times are changing, and I’m glad Wisconsin has caught up to it.”

After announcing his decision to transfer to Wisconsin, Evers told The Athletic, when asked about Longo’s offense, that he’s “excited because we will have the ability to throw the ball more and get it into the hands of our playmakers.”

In the tweet announcing his commitment, Mettauer said he “will look forward to playing in the Air Raid!”

Wisconsin has always had a stable of dynamic running backs, stout offensive linemen, and a dynamic play-making defense. When you add a potential game-changing quarterback, the Badgers can become the consistent top-15 program fans have been clamoring to see. 

A previous version of this article was posted on December 24th, 2022.

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Kedrick Stumbris covers Wisconsin football, basketball, hockey, and volleyball. He received his B.A. with economics and political science majors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018 and has had his work published on Bleacher Report and Verbal Commits.