Wisconsin Football: All Eyes on QB Tanner McEvoy in Badgers' Spring Game

Ben KerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterApril 9, 2014

Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld (7) fumbles against Wisconsin's Tanner McEvoy during the first half of a college football game Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Madison, Wis. Indiana recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Andy Manis

It's nothing major, but Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave has been shelved for the Badgers' spring game this Saturday. 

The cause?

Lingering shoulder soreness from an injury that knocked him out of the Capital One Bowl against South Carolina. 

Stave said Tuesday, via Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

It's nothing real serious. I've been throwing for many practices this spring and I felt pretty good. But it's just precautionary. There's some swelling and we don't play a game until August so right now is not the time to push it too much.

Joel Stave
Joel StaveJohn Raoux

Stave is confident he'll be throwing in time for voluntary summer workouts, and it shouldn't have any carryover into preseason camp. Though Stave was technically the No. 1 quarterback heading into spring, he was limited for the first six practices because of the injury. 

In the meantime, all eyes will be on quarterback Tanner McEvoy in the Badgers' spring game. 

It's a small window to prove he should be the starting quarterback, but it's a window nonetheless. Spring games are a chance for players to showcase themselves in front of a crowd, even though they have little resemblance of an actual game.

McEvoy arrived in Madison last year as a highly touted dual-threat quarterback from Arizona Western College. However, he ultimately moved to safety after failing to make an early impact at quarterback in preseason camp. McEvoy played in 11 games, starting three. 

Stave had an inconsistent season in 2013, namely in losses to Arizona State and Penn State, when he completed, on average, 52 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and three picks. In December, head coach Gary Andersen explained his decision to give McEvoy another crack at quarterback. 

Via Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal

We’ll do everything we can, just like every position, I always say, continually try and create competition. Tanner deserves that right. This is an opportunity for him to get out there and play (quarterback) in these practices. … He’ll do that at quarterback, then he does go right back to safety when our main guys, the travel kids, start practicing. He’s our starting safety for now.

Will a year in Wisconsin's system be enough for McEvoy to finally inch closer to Stave? If McEvoy has a solid spring game running and throwing, he's going to create an interesting debate during the summer months. 

It could also mean an intense competition that carries into August. 


Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football at Bleacher Report. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand.