If you look at the 2011 Badgers, they aren't much different than the 2010 Badgers. Alot of new faces on both sides, but the talent level is very similar, and we have some key players back from last year. Of course, last year's team boasted one of the top offenses in the FBS, and finished in the Top 10 in the nation, despite losing to TCU in the Rose Bowl.
But there's one difference between the two teams that wasn't even present at spring practice. You know already...it's Russell Wilson.
Wilson is the real deal. We all see it. He's accurate in the pocket as well as on the run. He can throw the ball downfield with accuracy and touch. He can escape the pocket, and scramble for a 46-yard TD, or to create time to find an open receiver. Really, he's just a playmaker, a difference-maker at Quarterback.
I love Scott Tolzien. And Tolzien was such a great fit for the team, a great fit for the run-first offense. He's great in playaction and is as accurate as can be, and makes excellent decisions. But Russell Wilson is all of that, plus some. Tolzien could never scramble for more than 5-10 yards, while Wilson can break a 46-yard TD. And Tolzien really couldn't throw it downfield all that well, and therefore couldn't take great advantage of Nick Toon's size and athleticism. We've already seen Wilson go downfield multiple times.
I was really buying all the hype for Wilson when he was rumored to be transferring in, and I'm glad I did. I really think he's what makes this year's team a bit more special than last year's. I think Wilson takes us from a Top 10 team to a Top 3 team. And I think 5 years from now when we are recruiting 5-star players from Florida and Texas, we'll look back and think about how Wilson's decision to transfer to Wisconsin took the program to a new level.
Thanks Russell, and keep ballin'.