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Wisconsin Football Spring Practice Stock Report: Quarterbacks



Tanner Mordecai, Starting Quarterback for Wisconsin Badgers Football
Apr 11, 2023; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) is shown during practice Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Madison, Wis. — With spring practice in the books, fans and the media were able to get an extended look at how the Wisconsin football program will operate with new head coach Luke Fickell steering the ship. 

Now that we’ve got 15 practices worth of reporting and film from The Launch to assess, it’s time to evaluate each position group heading into the summer. 

First up in our position-by-position stock up, stock down series is Phil Longo’s quarterback room.

Stock Up: Tanner Mordecai 

Forget what happened at The Launch; the reports on Tanner Mordecai this spring were consistently good and shouldn’t be discounted because of one bad practice. 

This is an experienced quarterback that Wisconsin football landed in the portal. He threw for 7,152 yards, 72 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions while completing 66.4% of his passes in two seasons as a starter at SMU.

Mordecai gives the Badgers a signal caller capable of going out and winning them games, not just a game manager you hope doesn’t lose you one.  

Stock Up: Braedyn Locke 

Braedyn Locke was perhaps the forgotten man in Wisconsin’s transfer portal haul at quarterback. However, you’d be hard-pressed to argue anyone improved their stock more at spring practice (other than Marshall Howe) than the Mississippi State transfer. 

“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. 

As a result of that consistency, the 6-foot-1 signal-caller ran the second-team offense all spring. Because of Locke’s accuracy, decision-making, and overall confidence on the field, the QB2 spot is his by a wide margin. 

Stock Down: Nick Evers 

When Nick Evers transferred to the Wisconsin football program from Oklahoma, it set off a chain reaction of impact quarterbacks coming to Madison. His particular addition injected life into the fanbase because he was considered a blue-chip prospect in the 2022 recruiting class that UW could groom into becoming their starting QB for years to come.  

But his playbook knowledge prevented him from earning meaningful reps during this spring’s installation phase. 

“What he’s working on right now…is getting to a point where he understands what’s going on out there in the passing game from a protection standpoint,” Longo told UW reporters

Evers’ talent is through the roof, no question about it. And the book is far from written on the former four-star QB but repping behind a walk-on can only lead to a stock down for me. 

The 6-foot-3 QB is still my favorite talent in the room, and he can make up plenty of ground between now and the start of fall camp. 

Other Wisconsin Football QBs 

I’d like to kick this off by commending in-state product Myles Burkett for sticking it out and choosing to compete. I think that speaks volumes about his character and his work ethic.

However, he’s roughly in the same spot Nick Evers found himself in this spring. Burkett took the occasional reps with the third team during practice but never broke through in the eyes of the new coaching staff.

Additionally, he’s not one of “Luke Fickell’s guys.” So Burkett is a stock down for me but is someone I’ll be rooting for regardless of the outcome.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention walk-on Marshall Howe improved his stock so much, rising to QB3 this spring, that he had no choice but to enter the transfer portal in pursuit of a scholarship he’s rightfully earned.

Lastly, true freshman Cole LaCrue enrolled early but missed spring practice due to an injury, although he wouldn’t likely have earned reps anyway. So his stock is unchanged.

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