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2011 Depth Chart Breakdown: Quarterback

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This is the second in a series of breakdowns on the 2011 Wisconsin Badgers depth chart. We continue with what is probably the biggest question entering spring ball: Who will be the Badgers' starting quarterback?

It doesn't seem like it was too long ago when John Stocco started three straight seasons for the Wisconsin Badgers at quarterback. Unfortunately, he was the last to do so as the Badgers started three different quarterbacks in the three seasons following Stocco's departure at the end of the 2006-07 season.

But last year, Scott Tolzien gave the Badgers stability and leadership at the quarterback position as he became the first signal-caller since Stocco to start more than one season at the position. Tolzien was by no means a gun-slinger and chances are he will never be a star at the next level. But he was accurate, smart and reliable and the Badgers are going to have their hands full replacing Tolzien in 2011.

2011 PROJECTED DEPTH CHART

QUARTERBACK

Jon Budmayr (RS So.)

Joe Brennan (RS Fr.)

Curt Phillips (RS Jr.)

Nate Tice (RS Sr.)

Lance Baretz (Fr.)

Joel Stave (Fr.)

Player Rankings:
1. Jon Budmayr
2. Curt Phillips
3. Joe Brennan
4. Lance Baretz
5. Joel Stave
6. Nate Tice

If fall camp started today there is little doubt Jon Budmayr would be taking the bulk of the reps with the first team. It's hard to really grade a guy who only threw 10 passes in 2010, but as Tolzien's backup, Budmayr looked more than comfortable, completing 8-of-10 passes on the season for 124 yards and one touchdown. That touchdown, of course, was the controversial 74-yard bomb he threw to Jared Abbrederis to put the Badgers up 76-13 on Indiana.

It's likely there will be an open competition for the starting quarterback job this spring and fall, but if you ask me, it's Budmayr's job to lose. Tolzien often raved about the support he received from Budmayr during the season, going as far as saying his backup taught him a lot rather than the other way around. And at Rose Bowl Media Day, Tolzien was talking as if he was passing the torch off to Budmayr, assuring the media that the Badgers would be just fine with the youngster under center.

Things can certainly change, however. Tolzien is a testament to that. He was considered an afterthought in 2009 when he, Phillips and Dustin Sherer competed for the job. Phillips will once again compete this year, although he is coming off a second torn ACL to the same knee and one has to wonder how effective he will be considering he is known for his legs and not neccessarily his arm. He will also miss spring ball once again.

The dark horse in all of this is Joe Brennan, a tall, lanky kid with a good arm and all the tools to make him sucessful at the college level. He is one of the few quarterbacks to come to Wisconsin with NFL-type height. Brennan redshirted last season and did most of his work on the scout team. Considering we don't know a whole lot about him, it's more than possible he could pull off an upset and win the job.

As of now, UW's roster consists of three walk-on quarterbacks as Lance Baretz and Joel Stave join senior Nate Tice. Both Baretz and Stave received all-state honors in Wisconsin as seniors, but neither figure to play a part in the quarterback race in 2011. __________________________________________________________________________________________ Previous Depth Chart Breakdowns:

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