Gunning for a Quarterback

After missing out on a quarterback last season, Wisconsin is targeting a quarterback that missed most of last season. Don't let the fact that University (Fla) High's Gunner Holcombe was a back-up last season fool you though, as the rising junior has received interest from all over the country.

MADISON – After not getting a commitment from a scholarship quarterback in the 2011 recruiting class, it's evident that the Wisconsin coaching staff is determined to take at least one for the Class of 2012.

So far, the Badgers have offered at least four quarterbacks, one of whom is Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School's Gunner Holcombe.

Recruited by co-defensive coordinator Charlie Partridge, Holcombe has received a verbal offer from the Badgers, as well, as Partridge saw plenty of Holcombe while he recruited teammate and 2011 UW cornerback commit Devin Gaulden.

"I've talked to them a couple of times earlier in the year and they've said a couple times that they're really interested in me," Holcombe said. "They said they will be back down to watch me in the spring and that they were going to give me a written offer because they were impressed with me overall."

Holcombe also said that the Badgers' applauded how he handled what was a challenging junior season.

Heading into the season as the starter, Holcombe came down with an intestinal virus that made him bedridden. When he returned, Holcombe stayed on the bench in a supportive role.

"It was a big letdown not being to perform and sit behind someone else," Holcombe said. "I had been used to starting and not being a back-up, but it was a great learning lesson about what mistakes not to make and how to be a more team player instead of it being all about you. You never know what can happen to you and that any play can be your last."

Since that experience, Holcombe has hit the ground running. He is participating in track, practicing and lifting every day to make sure he's prepared for spring practices.

"I am doing everything I can and working on everything I can," Holcombe said. "I feel like things are going well so I can get to spring playing crisp."

Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Nebraska, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, TCU and other programs have shown interest in Holcombe, who threw for 1,359 yards with 19 touchdowns and five interceptions in a predominately running offense his sophomore season, his first season as a starting quarterback.

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