Wisconsin Journey Begins for McEvoy

Leaving today to head to Wisconsin, Arizona Western College quarterback, and Wisconsin 2013 signee, Tanner McEvoy is ready to get to his new home and start competing for the Badgers' starting job.

With the starting quarterback position still not settled after spring practices, Tanner McEvoy will now get his chance to show what he is capable of doing for the University of Wisconsin.

Committing to the Badgers at the beginning of February, head coach Gary Andersen said McEvoy will get a chance to compete for the starting job when he arrives on campus. That journey to Madison officially begins today when McEvoy leaves his home in New Jersey, hoping to arrive Thursday to adjust to his new home and start preparing for the beginning of summer conditioning June 9.

"I'm real excited to get to Madison," McEvoy told Badger Nation. "I've been home for awhile and my parents are ready for me to leave (laughing). Madison is a great place. I'm looking forward to seeing it again and just getting to know my new teammates and getting ready for fall camp."

Committing to the Badgers over Florida, Oregon and West Virginia, McEvoy completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,568 yards with 21 touchdowns and only three interceptions last season for Arizona Western College.

That performance attracted secondary coach Bill Busch, who spearheaded McEvoy's recruitment and also visited the three-star quarterback in New Jersey when he was visiting other recruits in mid May.

"When Coach Busch stopped by, we talked about some general things and how my online classes were going," said McEvoy, who finished up his college classes from home. "We also talked about how he's looking forward to seeing me on the football field."

Wisconsin will be the third different college offense McEvoy will learn in the past three years, a trait he said has become an area of strength for him in his progression. Being able to study different aspects of Wisconsin's offense since committing and having conversations with offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, McEvoy isn't worried about being behind when camp opens in August.

"I've had a new offense every year since my freshman year of high school," McEvoy said. "I just need to run through it a couple of times. I've been able to pick up past offenses pretty fast so I'm not too worried about learning the Badgers' offense.

"Ludwig and I would talk every once and a while. He would tell me how practices were going. When we did talk he didn't go into full detail. He said all the kids were learning the offense nicely, everyone was helping out and they were progressing. He also talked about how they're looking forward to getting me out on the field and watching me try and earn the starting spot."

During his national signing day press conference, Andersen said McEvoy was an attractive option to UW because the 6-6, 215-pound quarterback could hurt teams with his arm, legs and his mind, three traits the new Wisconsin coaching staff covets in a quarterback. McEvoy was happy to hear Andersen speak highly of him, which made him want to get on the field as soon as possible.

"It kind of fits into what the quarterbacks are becoming today but it obviously shows that he has confidence in me," McEvoy said. "I personally can't wait to get on the football field to show that he was right about me.

"I pride myself on my work ethic so if I'm the fourth string quarterback on the roster, I'll figure out a way to get onto the football field."

Just as important as competing for the starting job, McEvoy is anxious to get a fresh start at a BCS program. Originally signing with South Carolina out of high school, McEvoy was arrested in North Carolina and charged with speeding and driving after consuming alcohol while under 21. He transferred shortly after to Arizona Western to get an opportunity to play instead of being buried on the depth chart.

"I've matured more and I've learned from my mistake," McEvoy said of the two misdemeanors. "I've grown from it, which is key, and I'm making sure I won't make the same mistake again."

With everything that has happened to him since graduating high school, it's understandable that McEvoy plays with a chip on his shoulder with something to prove.

"I've always played with a mentality of trying to win and doing everything in my power to help the team win," McEvoy said. "I just want to show that I'm a good quarterback who can play on this stage."

Although McEvoy has an uphill climb to win the starting job, especially after sophomore quarterback Joel Stave had a strong spring and sixth-year senior Curt Phillips' experience with the offense, he's looking forward to the opportunity of being the starting quarterback when Wisconsin opens the season August 31 against Massachusetts.

"Every day in practice I just have to show up and compete," McEvoy said. "Continue to learn the offense as fast as possible and show I know the offense each day. If I take it day by day I should earn the respect of my teammates. I just want to show what I'm capable of doing and see where the competition goes."

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