Evridge Taking Advantage of Spring Reps

After being beaten out for the starting job a season ago, senior quarterback Allan Evridge has the starting job in his sights and, so far through the course of spring workouts, is showing why he deserves to be Wisconsin's starting quarterback in 2008.

MADISON - Senior quarterback Allan Evridge already knows how it feels to lose a quarterback competition.

Being narrowly defeated by then-quarterback Tyler Donovan a week before the start of the 2007 fall season, Evridge spent the better part of last season helping Donovan succeed at quarterback while preparing himself to earn the job his senior season.

So far, Evridge's hard work has shown, being consistently consistent, incredibly mobile and making some picture-perfect throws that has made his inexperienced wide receivers look stellar.

Although there's still plenty of time between now and the beginning of the 2008 season, Evridge is taking advantage of every snap he gets; doing his best to put himself in position to be named this year's starter and not have to spend his final year on the sidelines.

BN: So another quarterback competition involving you seems like the routine now every spring camp. Talk about how important it is for you to get how and showcase what you can do?

Allan Evridge: It's very important any time you get to get out there and get on the field again. It's important to take advantage of every opportunity you get. It's the just the same thing as last year – take advantage of all the reps so I am ready. That's the main thing on my mind right now.

BN: You guys are running some spread offense throughout spring workouts. Does that bring back some fond memories for you because you kind of have that down pat with your time at K-State?

Allan Evridge: Yeah I have done it once or twice (smile). It's a lot of fun. The shotgun formation gives (the quarterback) some options that it's nice to be back there now and then. With the offense that Coach Chryst has, it's a great offense and definitely puts us in a great position to win and have great plays. It's fun to dabble in that a little bit.

BN: Is it important to incorporate a little bit of the spread now too because half of the Big Ten is going to be using it next year and (running the spread) will give your defense an idea of what to expect ?

Allan Evridge: That's a good point but at the same time if everybody is going to be running the spread, we'd be unique and be different, as all defenses are preparing for the spread. In the same right, we should do what we are good at and what gives us the best opportunity to win is what we will do. Knowing Coach Chryst, he is great a diagnosing the strengths of his players and will put in stuff that puts in position to win. If that's the spread, we will dabble with the spread. If it's not, then we'll do whatever works.

BN: Like you said. Coach Chryst seems to tailor the offense to his quarterback's strengths. As a quarterback, is that something that really makes you more confident and comfortable with the offense?

Allan Evridge: Definitely. His approach about it. He is not a ‘This is my offense' type of guy or ‘You're messing up my offense.' He really tailors each and every offense to the quarterbacks and it becomes our offense and not his. He really forms it around it and he does a great job of that because it makes it relaxed. Anytime you can showcase your strengths, and he definitely plays for those, it's going to make for a better production and better quality.

BN: When you decided to transfer from Kansas State, why Wisconsin? What made you look at this school and made you think to yourself that this would be a good school to grow at?

Allan Evridge: There were a number of things. First off, it was an extremely quick process. I waited pretty long to leave and hold out as long as I could. When I left, I came up here and it was a great feeling. It was kind of one of those gut feels and I had just came from TCU right before that, kind of liked what they did, but I came up here and met tremendous guys, the atmosphere and Coach Alvarez was a great guy. I had a little contact with Coach B from K-State before he left. Not a whole lot, but I kind of knew him. Everything just felt kind of right.

BN: Did you feel that you had put yourself in position to win the starting job last year and how did you take the news of that decision? Did you feel that TD was the guys and with another year under your belt that you would be the guy?

Allan Evridge: It was definitely frustrating. I am not going to lie. It was a frustrating situation but it was a situation that I was put in, one with extenuating circumstances. So, that's the hat that I had to wear. I think in hindsight, 20-20, it made me a stronger person, stronger individual. I sit back and watch Tyler who stepped in, was extremely tough, played hard and fun to watch him excel.

Everything quarterback comes and wants to be the starter. If you don't, I don't think you are in the right sport. It was a little frustrating from that standpoint but once it went away, my job was then to help Tyler and progress as much as possible.

BN: What did you do over the course of last year to better prepare yourself for the spring?

Allan Evridge: Just got back in shape and really just work hard in the off-season with the strength coaches. Those guys do a great job. Just worked on flexibility and things like that because I had little injuries that were nagging at me. Big thing for me is flexibility and things like that. Working on that. Dropped some weight and getting back to my old playing weight to get more mobile and agile.

BN: How have you and Dustin handled this quarterback competition? It's an unfair term but you guys are competing for the starting job. How have you two handled it and each other?

Allan Evridge: Right now, everybody is competing for the job. James Stallons is competing for the job. Scott Tolzien is competing for the job. At the end of the day, the way I look at it, we are all competing. Obviously, that is always there. We're ultimately trying to make the team as good as possible so I am not going to withhold any information, treat them the same way and help everybody out. At the end of the day if they are good enough to beat me out, then they'll help the team out. We'll have to look at it that way. We are all friends. We joke around and really no animosity (laughing).

The first day of practice, we joked around about it. Really, the controversy is more on the media side than the locker room side.

BN: What were you guys joking around about or is it something you can't say publicly?

Allan Evridge: Yeah, we better keep that to ourselves (laughing). Nothing major. We were just kind of laughing about it, knowing we were going to be coming to the media. We were joking around and someone brought up some pictures of Tyler and me last year. We were playing with that a little bit. It was fun. All those guys are tremendous guys so that's first of all, it's great to surround yourself with great people.

BN: What do you like about Curt Phillips? Obviously he's come in with a lot of fanfare, too, and he's a lot like you in the sense that he can run the spread and is a mobile quarterback. What do you see from him?

Allan Evridge: He's just a nice kid. He's come in and our personalities kind of melded together. He reminds me a lot of myself with some things. He's a really nice kid and fits in because there are a lot of nice people on this team.

BN: Talk about the offensive line. You have a very veteran offensive line in front of you. Is that going to be the key to making the offense tick this year?

Allan Evridge: Definitely. I mean, that's the key to every offense. Those guys in the trenches never get any love. At the end of the day, they are the ones making everything work and the power behind everything. Anytime I get in line behind those guys puts a smile on my face. We have tremendous group of guys all the way across the board. They play well, they will get better and improve from here on out.

Coach Bostad is doing a tremendous job, as well. He's really getting them right and teaching them little fundamental things, conditioning and mentally they are doing an awesome job. Even more important is just there personalities. The same thing rains true with everybody is they are just great guys. They are a lot of fun to be with.

BN: As a quarterback competing for a job, when would you like the decision made on who is going to be the starter for this season?

Allan Evridge: It really doesn't matter to me because I am going to approach it the same way I have been approaching everything – try to take advantage of every rep that they give me and try to get better. Ultimately, that's the main thing I can control and the thing that I can deal with, that and stay healthy. Those are the two things I am keyed in on right now. Just keep plugging along, keep stretching, keep learning plays and keep hitting the film room. Those are the top things on my priority list right now.

BN: You have a lot of playmakers on offense. How excited are you that when you look at this offense that this offense could be pretty exciting to be apart of?

Allan Evridge: It's very exciting to look at how good the offense could be. But once again, those are just how good is ‘could' be. We are the only people that can control that so we have to go out and continue to improve and fight hard. We have another summer coming up, which is good, because we have nothing but time. We have a lot of potential but it is just potential. We have to cash it in and make it work. I have all the confidence in the world in these guys that we'll make it work.

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