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2014 Wisconsin fall camp: D.J. Gillins redshirt option still undecided

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Would the true freshman be better served redshirting or remaining available for limited packages as the No. 3 quarterback?

UW Athletic Communications

Wisconsin's quarterback situation remains unsettled, as head coach Gary Andersen said Monday that his staff won't publicly name a signal-caller ahead of the season-opener Aug. 30 vs. LSU. Joel Stave might be the presumed favorite at this point, but Tanner McEvoy is believed to at least have some packages in which he can display his mobility.

Another interesting development in the quarterback battle has been the status of true freshman quarterback D.J. Gillins, a four-star prospect from Jacksonville, Florida. For as hyped a dual-threat quarterback as McEvoy is, Gillins comes to Wisconsin as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the country's class of 2015, according to 247Composite. He enrolled early in Madison this spring, though not much has been heard of him, especially considering the central focus on Stave and McEvoy.

Monday, Andersen was asked about Gillins, and whether redshirting would be an optimal situation for him at this point. That would mean obtaining an additional year of eligibility while Stave and McEvoy take care of this year's quarterback position.

"In a perfect world... I'm still undecided on that, and I think [offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig] is, too," Andersen said with a lengthy pause after "perfect world." "I would say, yes, in a perfect world it's nice to have a young man to have another year as you move forward."

Andersen added that Monday's practice was Gillins' best thus far, as he was able to get the ball out on time in addition to making a few plays with his feet.

Still, the situation remains unsettled. For one, Stave has suffered shoulder injuries in each of the last two seasons. McEvoy, as a mobile quarterback, might also be more susceptible to injury. Having in Gillins in the fold obviously couldn't hurt in that regard.

That said, shifting Gilling's regular focus toward learning Wisconsin's system and honing his fundamentals, and thus away from weekly game preparation, could be beneficial. When asked what factors could settle the redshirt question, Andersen said, "How effective we are on offense, the direction that the offense is truly heading in as we go through the season and what we can absolutely do best. We're going to be able to run the football, we know we have to run the football, but what is the direction of the throw game? What is the direction of the athleticism of the quarterback spot?"