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Wisconsin Football Spring Practice MVPs: Offense



Tanner Mordecai, Starting Quarterback for Wisconsin Badgers Football

Madison, Wis. – Spring practice is officially in the rearview mirror, and the new era of Wisconsin football is well underway.

It was a loaded spring for the Badgers as the new regime implemented schemes for the players to learn. The biggest change came on the offensive side, as offensive coordinator Phil Longo brought the air raid offense to Madison.

UW’s offense generated the most buzz throughout spring ball and for a good reason. Plenty of new additions made their mark, while some younger players saw a jump up the depth chart.

Here’s a look at my offensive MVPs by position group following spring practice.

Quarterbacks MVP: Tanner Mordecai

Yes, Mordecai’s play in the open scrimmage was disappointing, but you can’t discount all he did in spring based on that performance.

After every practice, all we heard was how impressive Mordecai looked. From his arm talent to his decision-making, the SMU transfer did everything to cement himself as Wisconsin’s QB1.

Mordecai will have a wealth of talent in the receiving corps this season. With a staggering amount of receiving options, the fifth-year senior can break out in his last year at the collegiate level.

Running Backs MVP: Braelon Allen

To nobody’s surprise, Allen was the MVP among the running back group. 

The junior tailback will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the air raid offense, as he’ll finally be able to run into a less packed box. At “The Launch,” Allen unofficially received 15 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. It was a small glimpse at what he has in store, but Allen is poised for a breakout year.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Allen left for the NFL Draft after this season.

Wide receiver MVP(s): Will Pauling & CJ Williams

I racked my brain on this pick but couldn’t choose just one of these guys. 

Pauling, a former Cincinnati receiver, climbed up to the first-team offense in spring ball. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound receiver impressed with his quick burst off of the line and his route-running ability out of the slot. He’ll be a mainstay in the receiving corps in 2023.

Williams also climbed his way up to the first-team offense. The former four-star prospect could be a breakout candidate after an impressive spring.

The two transfer receivers made considerable impacts in the spring, and both deserve to be named the receiver MVPs.

Tight end MVP: Jack Pugh

The tight ends were a complex group to choose from, as Jake Eschenbach, Jack Pugh, Hayden Rucci, and Riley Nowakowski got involved in some capacity. However, I’m going to give a slight edge to Pugh.

With Clay Cundiff still rehabbing from injury, Pugh took a step up and intermittently filled in on the first-team offense. The redshirt sophomore showcased his ability as a vertical threat and blocker throughout spring, and he could get involved in the air raid.

Pugh has dealt with some injuries in his first two seasons. He’ll surely be involved in the new offense if he stays healthy.

Offensive line MVP: Jack Nelson

The offensive line was another difficult position to choose from, but I’ll go with the seasoned vet on this one.

Nelson has been an anchor on UW’s offensive line for the past two seasons. Making 25 career starts, Nelson has received praise for his technique and athleticism.

The junior tackle could be another candidate to declare for the NFL Draft after the 2023 season.

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Jake Maier is the managing editor and publisher at He has provided coaching and editorial support to numerous writers in his role, contributing significantly to the platform's growth. His expertise extends to Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Jake's previous bylines can be found at Fansided and Wisconsin Sports Heroics.