McEvoy Making up for Lost Time

Decisively behind quarterbacks Curt Phillips and Joel Stave in the competition for the starting quarterback job, sophomore quarterback Tanner McEvoy is anxious to play catch up when Wisconsin's preseason camp opens on Monday.

MADISON - Tanner McEvoy has been around enough programs – three on the college level in fact – to know where he stands on the depth chart.

So when his first Wisconsin camp officially opens on Monday, McEvoy knows he will be considered the underdog against experience signal callers Curt Phillips and Joel Stave, who combined to start 11 of UW's 14 games last season.

"I have some ground to make up because I missed spring practices," McEvoy said at Wisconsin's annual media day Friday. "But no matter what school I went to I would of had some ground to make up. I'm looking forward to fall camp and seeing how things pan out."

Although Wisconsin lists six quarterbacks on its roster, head coach Gary Andersen and the coaching staff is focused solely on Phillips, Stave and McEvoy. Arriving in late May from his home in New Jersey after spending last season playing at Arizona Western College, McEvoy spent the summer learning offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig's offense; a scheme he feels he is a good fit for.

"I'm working hard every day," said McEvoy. "I'm doing the best I can to learn the offense as fast as I can. I'm taking it day by day. I've been working with the receiver this summer so hopefully that shows in camp. During the week we do three days of 7-on-7's and then I usually throw once or twice after that. I try to throw about five times a week.

"Whatever way you need to get the ball in the end zone, you have to do it. That's what I bring to the table."

The 6-6, 223-pound sophomore enters his first season at Wisconsin as one of the top junior college dual-threat quarterbacks. McEvoy completed 68 percent of his passes last season, throwing for 1,813 yards and recorded 24 touchdowns.

Combine his athleticism (he was a wide receiver in high school until switching to quarterback his senior season) with his numbers, it was easy to see why Andersen and the rest of the coaching staff targeted him early and were eager to get him to come to Madison.

"It was fun to go out and play at Arizona," McEvoy. "It gave me the chance to play another year of football at the position I wanted to be in. Coach Bill Busch was with Utah State actually when he came to Arizona and saw me play. He wasn't even looking for a quarterback at the time. When all the coach changes were made, that's when they started recruiting me at quarterback."

Switching from Arizona to Wisconsin may not be the easiest transition for the young quarterback, but with being from New Jersey he's at least used to the cold weather. "New Jersey gets pretty cold," laughed McEvoy. "I've play in some cold games. It snowed in both of my state championship games during my sophomore and junior seasons."

McEvoy is not too worried about the weather or the competition that lies ahead. And although the quarterback hasn't had the smoothest transition to Madison, which involved him being mugged at Madison in late July, he has no regrets about choosing Wisconsin.

"I've love Madison so far and that was just one bad incident that happened," said McEvoy. "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I walked out fine. I feel 100 percent going into fall camp. Besides that everyone has been great so far. That's why I came here because of the players, coaches and facilities."

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