A Happy Boss

Barry Alvarez (Fleming/12)

While the purpose of his press conference was to announce the details surrounding Wisconsin's April 20th spring game, Athletic Director Barry Alvarez couldn't be happier with how Gary Andersen has handled the 2013 Wisconsin recruiting class.

MADISON — Since the whirlwind month of December in which he had to find a new head football coach, lead Wisconsin in the 99th Rose Bowl and still maintain accomplish other objective in his role as athletic director, Barry Alvarez can say with conviction that he ‘really wouldn't have done anything different.'

And with how he stressed to his assistants to hold things together and keep players focused, Alvarez couldn't be happier with how new head coach Gary Andersen has kept the 2013 recruiting class moving forward.

"I couldn't be more pleased with how Gary and his staff have come in, wrapped their arms around recruiting," Alvarez said. "(They have) been able to secure our recruiting class, hold things secure within the state, hold things secure with those who had committed previously — and with their ties go out and find a few other players that really adds to this class. Recruiting is the lifeblood of your program.

"Even though we made a coaching change, I don't see we dropped in recruiting. As a matter of fact, maybe took a step upward."

Alvarez was making his public statements since the Rose Bowl to talk about Wisconsin's annual spring, which will be held on April 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets went on sale Monday, cost $5 apiece and proceeds will benefit Wisconsin's school of Pharmacy in its efforts to reduce the student debt load of its graduates.

The game will also serve as the culmination of the Badgers' spring practice season under new coach Gary Andersen. Spring practices begin on Saturday, March. 9.

"I think more people would be interested in style of play and for new comers," said Alvarez. "They know how the guys who have played are going to play, but I think fans would be interested in the style of play we're going to have."

Once again the focus of the position will be on the quarterback. Wisconsin will all have seniors Jon Budmayr, Danny O'Brien and Curt Phillips along with redshirt sophomore Joel Stave and redshirt freshman Bart Houston in the mix for playing time next season.

"The quarterback battle certainly adds a little more interest to it, but I don't think that's the only thing although I think that's what most people want to talk about," said Alvarez. "I know we have one guy that won a championship, another guy that had beaten him out in Joel Stave. I understand Jon Budmayr is healthy. Bart Houston, had a chance to see him practice and throw. I think he's very talented. I'm personally anxious to see how they evolve, how the staff will use all of them."

Andersen – a finalists for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award after leading the Aggies to their first outright league title since 1936 - will begin his tenure as coach with 16 returning starters from last year's team, which won its third consecutive Big Ten championship.

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