Searching for No. 2

Competition for Wisconsin's backup quarterback duties will continue into the fall

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John Stocco ran away with Wisconsin's No. 1 quarterback job so quickly this spring that the anticipated spring practice derby shifted rapidly to determining who was second-string.

 

Senior Matt Schabert entered spring at No. 2, but has been given few reps so that redshirt freshman Tyler Donovan and true freshman Sean Lewis could have an opportunity to show off their talents.


Matt Schabert

 

Donovan has often received as many reps as Stocco with the first unit. The former Arrowhead High School star, a Wisconsin state player of the year two seasons ago, however, has had an up-and-down spring, leaving No. 2 wide open.

 

"In his defense, this is his first spring," quarterbacks coach Jeff Horton said. "Last fall he ran everybody's plays but ours being the scout team quarterback. He does have good ability. He really can move around. He has a strong enough arm to be really effective. Each day he takes some small steps and we just have to continue to do that with him and help bring him along."

 

Lewis has mostly worked with the second-team offense and has gone through the common growing pains of a first-year quarterback. After leaving high school a semester early he will turn 18 Sunday.

 

"He's done a remarkable job just showing some poise," Horton said. "That's not an easy situation to walk into. None of these guys know him and all of a sudden here is this guy showing up. So he has to earn their respect. He's in there and he's trying to do that."

 

"Sometimes they know what they're doing, other times they don't," senior offensive tackle Morgan Davis said regarding Donovan and Lewis. "But, you know what, talking about ‘Stoc', he's made quite the jump from what he used to be so the other guys, they just need the experience to get in there with us. And they need to raise their voice up and take that leadership role like Stoc has."

 

Schabert and Donovan will likely leave spring practice in a virtual tie for the No. 2 job. Schabert gets the nod on experience, Donovan on ability. Lewis and incoming freshmen Marcus Randle El and Bryan Savage, though, will have every opportunity to win that spot in the fall.

 

"I'm really looking forward to Marcus and Bryan Savage to come in here and see what they have," head coach Barry Alvarez said. "I want to see them compete against Tyler and see where they are."


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