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Wisconsin Football Quarterback Room Season Outlook & Player Expectations

A quick look at the Wisconsin football quarterback room heading into fall camp and analyzing their individual expectations for the season.



Wisconsin Football; Badgers quarterback Tanner Mordecai
Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai throws a pass during first spring football practice of the season on Saturday March 25, 2023 at the McClain Center in Madison, Wis. Uw Football Spring Practice 9 March 25 2023

With fall camp just around the corner for new head coach Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football program — now felt like the right time to roll out position previews. 

But I want this position preview and season outlook write-up to be different than a regurgitated version of what every outlet is putting out. 

I want to approach this breakdown by establishing individual player expectations heading into the season so we can more effectively evaluate each player at the end of the season—that way, we can avoid being a prisoner of the moment. 

With that being said, the breakdown of expectations will be as follows:

  • No expectations (walk-ons, true freshmen, practice bodies).
  • Low expectations (roster fillers, third team players, next man up situation).
  • Moderate expectations (key backups & role players *how well are you playing the role asked of you).
  • High expectations (core players of the team you expect to make a big impact in their role or statistically). 

Let’s dive in, starting with the Wisconsin football quarterbacks.

High Expectations 

  • Tanner Mordecai (RS SR)

In our high-expectations group, the only Wisconsin football quarterback that meets this definition for me is SMU transfer, Tanner Mordecai

Mordecai is a sixth-year senior that was hand-picked by offensive coordinator Phil Longo to help him install the air raid in Madison

The 6-foot-3, 214-pound signal-caller has appeared in 36 collegiate games and joins the Badgers with legitimate NFL aspirations. Mordecai brings a career 155.7 QB rating, plus he threw for 72 touchdowns and had 22 interceptions the past two seasons with the Mustangs. 

Expectations are high entering 2023, and Mordecai being the QB1 has plenty to do with it. Having the Texas native as a bridge QB that can mentor the younger players will also be invaluable. To meet expectations, Mordecai must start every game (barring injury) and put up a borderline All-Big Ten campaign, given the type of numbers Longo’s QBs tend to put up in his offense.

Wisconsin Football QBs With Moderate Expectations

  • Braedyn Locke (RS FR)

In the moderate expectations group, the only player I feel comfortable listing here is Mississippi State transfer, Braedyn Locke

Locke joined the Wisconsin football program after a redshirt season at Mississippi State and has four years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound signal-caller is a former four-star recruit from Rockwall High School in Texas, and his consistent play in spring practices caught the attention of the coaching staff and his teammates.

According to reports, Locke was consistently accurate, made good decisions, and showed an elite understanding of the playbook. He also demonstrated a passable arm, capable of making all the throws required in Longo’s offense.

Locke is the early favorite for the backup job and the early choice to take over for Mordecai next season. To meet expectations, Locke needs to be the unquestioned backup on the depth chart, and if he had to step in and play this season — give the Badgers a chance to win in Mordecai’s absence.

Wisconsin Football QBs With Low Expectations

  • Nick Evers (RS FR)
  • Myles Burkett (RS FR)

Placing someone in the low-expectations group has absolutely nothing to do with a player’s talent level or what anyone thinks they have the potential to become for the Wisconsin football program. 

As outlined above, this is simply a way to gauge what we think they will bring to the table for the Wisconsin football team next season — and then reflect on that when the year is over to see where they fall. 

In this group, I feel it’s most appropriate to place redshirt freshman QBs Nick Evers, who transferred from Oklahoma, and in-state product Myles Burkett. 

Neither player established themselves as the QB3 during the spring. In fact, former walk-on Marshall Howe held that role until transferring out. However, there is plenty to like about each player. 

From a raw tools standpoint, Evers is arguably the most talented player in the entire QB room and has a very high ceiling. However, his knowledge of the playbook this spring prevented him from taking a lot of reps. Once the mental side of things catches up — he will be a fun player to monitor. 

To meet expectations, Evers and Burkett must continue developing and mastering the system to vault themselves into a more important role next season. In a perfect world, one distances themselves from the other and becomes the QB3.

No Expectations 

  • Cole LaCrue (FR)

True freshman quarterback Cole LaCrue was a pickup by the previous regime — and although his skillset probably fits the new Wisconsin football coaches better — there’s little to no chance he sees the field in any capacity in 2023. 

The 6-foot-2 190-pound QB can sit back and learn everything he can and develop while Mordecai runs the show. If he can refine certain areas of his game — it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could fight for a role of some kind next season. 

To meet expectations, LaCrue needs to bust his ass on the scout team and refine his game as a whole — he’s a toolsy QB with upside.

Why Wisconsin QB Tanner Mordecai is the Missing Piece of the Puzzle

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