Interview Series: Part Seven - Allan Evridge

In the final part of a seven-part series, Badger Nation publisher Benjamin Worgull sits down with Badger football players that are going to make an impact in 2007. Today's guest - junior quarterback Allan Evridge.

MADISON - Any other year, this would be Allan Evridge's team to control.

After starting his sophomore year at Kansas State, Evridge transferred to Wisconsin to be a part of a winning ball club. Before he left, however, Evridge put up solid numbers as a young first-year starter – completed 102 of 213 passes (47.9 percent) for 1,365 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions. Evridge could also run, too – rushing for 203 yards and four scores before transferring.

Now in his junior year after redshirting last season per NCAA rules, Evridge is competing with a quarterback that's nearly a mirror image – throws well and runs well – in senior quarterback Tyler Donovan and is part of competition that is drawing state and regional media attention.

Benjamin Worgull sat down with Allan Evridge between fall practices and talked with the junior about his time on the sidelines last season, his experiences at Kansas State, leadership and where he sees himself and the team in 2007.

Badger Nation: You've been in camp for two weeks, how would you evaluate your performance thus far?

Allan Evridge It's been pretty good. Right now, I'm trying to take advantage of every opportunity I get. Repetitions are key right now. The mental aspect of the game I am very confident about right now. It's just getting behind center, seeing [the game] from that angle and going from there.

BN: What was last year like for you watching Stocco and the team play from the sidelines? Was that difficult for you?

AE: It's definitely difficult going from being a starter to sitting back and not even being a part of the team. You're part of the team, but you're sitting in the stands on Saturdays. That's definitely difficult. The teammates made it a lot easier. It was a lot fun to sit back and watch those guys exceed all expectations and do what everyone on the team knew we were capable of doing. It was fun watching everyone excel from P.J. to Tyler in those last two games do such a great job to John [Stocco] have another great year. That was a lot of fun.

BN: One group that didn't have a lot of expectations was your wide receivers being three unknowns who really blossomed as the season went along. Talk about their performance and what it would be like throwing to those guys.

AE: Those are a tremendous group of guys not only on the field but off the field. People can see what they do on the field every Saturday week in and week out. Off the field, they are just a great group of guys. I'm really excited for the opportunity to play with them. Not only because of the talents they bring, anytime you have the opportunity to play after last year is just going to be fun.

BN: What was your main reason for the transfer from Kansas State to here a couple years ago?

AE: There were a lot of things going on eternally within the program – personnel as well as some other things. It was just the best situation to go ahead and move on. I rather not get into because it is all in the past. We'll leave it there, but I still have a lot of great friends there. My fiancée is still there. She actually started her two-a-days for volleyball. Love the people, love the atmosphere and it's a great school.

Evridge during his sophomore year at Kansas State

BN: What was your relationship with Coach Bielema back at Kansas State?

AE: It was more of an acquaintance. He was the recruiting coordinator. I ran into him a couple times and he talked to me. He was the defensive coordinator and I was coming in on offense. I knew him fairly well as far as to go up and talk to him, but not too in-depth.

BN: Was he one of the main attractions that brought you to Wisconsin or were there other things involved?

AE: He was definitely one of the positives. Ever since he was at Kansas State, he always had an air about him where you could just tell that he would be a good coach and do big things. He's always done things very well. So, I knew he would be a great head coach and that was a big thing. Probably the biggest thing was the total feel of the program from my teammates and everything else. Wisconsin just felt right.

BN: What kind of quarterback would you describe yourself as? One that likes to roll out or a pocket passer?

AE: I like to do a little bit of everything. I can drop back and pass from under center, which was knew in spring. At Kansas State, I was under the gun a lot. Did a lot of roll outs, play action passes and quarterback run game was pretty heavy at Kansas State as well. I've always like to pride myself on taking what the defense gives me and to be able to do a little bit of everything.

BN: Talk about this offensive line. You've got some big guys up front protecting you.

AE: Minus Joe Thomas, but there's another big guy filling his shoes. The first couple days, it was hard getting use to the big guys up there, going through your throwing motion and your reads. That just takes time, too.

BN: You haven't been in the system quiet as long as Tyler has.

AE: Not quiet, Not quiet, Close though (chuckling).

BN: How do you feel you grasp Coach Chryst's system?

AE: I haven't really dealt too much in the offense this summer to be honest with you. I've been taking summer classes, working out and running. With the restrictions I really haven't done as much as I'd like.

I think X's and O's and mentality, as far as on paper, I feel very confident. Now, it's just getting under center, seeing it from that angle and processing it. I'd be hard-pressed to name one route I have thrown more than ten times. When you think about it, it's really pretty low. I am trying to continue to grow and develop and go from there.

BN: With John Stocco and Joe Thomas graduating, who do you think is the leader on the offensive side of the ball?

AE: You know leadership is something that you can try to fake, but it's just not natural. I would say some of the big leaders on our team are on the receiving core, Luke Swan and Paul Hubbard. They've both been up there and there'll both walk-ons. Those are two guys that people definitely look to as leaders and I think the team as a whole does a good job of being pretty accountable.

BN: How do you see this team embracing the expectations nationally this team has on them? Is that something the guys have talked about at all or is it one ear and out the other?

AE: It's something the guys definitely recognize and they know that those things are out there. But I think, right now, we're more worried about what is happening in house more than what is happening outside. We're taking everything one game at a time like our 1-0 mentality. We've got a great group of guys and they are not getting put in anything past Washington State. It should be an excited season.

BN: I'd be foolish not to ask about the quarterback competition. Have you put any undue pressure on yourself – comparing your throws to Tyler's or do you just let it happen?

AE: Right now, I get into not making throws but not because Tyler is making them. I know what I am capable of and if I don't make a good throw, I am pretty hard on myself at times because I know what I can do. So from that aspect that would probably be why I am most frustrated. For the most part, I go out there, try to learn and get as much out of every rep as I can.

Definitely you don't want to go anywhere and be second string. If you do, you're definitely in the wrong sport and playing the wrong position. At the end of the day, it's not my decision. Tyler has been in the offense, he's the fifth-year senior. At the end of the day, we'll see what happens.

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