The Wisconsin Badgers moved quickly to secure their likely starter at quarterback during the 2024 season, as they hosted Miami Hurricanes transfer Tyler Van Dyke on a visit before landing a commitment from him.
Van Dyke, a graduate transfer, will have one more year of eligibility remaining, and will look to resurrect his career after two up-and-down seasons with a number of different offensive coordinators.
However, the move to acquire Van Dyke likely means that redshirt freshmen quarterbacks Braedyn Locke and Nick Evers will have to wait another season before earning their opportunity to starter, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Locke got a glimpse of playing time when replacing Tanner Mordecai, who missed around a month with a broken hand, but Evers, on the other hand, has yet to see the field for the Badgers, mainly working behind the scenes.
How can Evers see the field?
Speaking to reporters ahead of the Badgers’ bowl game against LSU, sixth-year quarterback Tanner Mordecai shed light on the topic, pointing to Evers’s physical traits, as well as the rest of his profile.
“I mean, he obviously has the physical traits. He’s very gifted athletically,” Mordecai said of Evers. “I think it’s just maybe experience and time, maybe reps, just gaining that stuff and get under his belt, just make him more comfortable in future situations. I’m not saying that he’s not comfortable now, but I think that helps with anybody.”
However, to gain those reps, Mordecai believes that going the extra mile is the difference maker, which will ultimately help Evers eventually see the field.
“I think you have to show everyone to coaches and your teammates how serious you are about being the starting quarterback here, taking in a leadership role, going a little extra mile just here and there. And I think forming relationships with everyone on the team, knowing that you care about them,” Mordecai said.
“So whenever the time comes, you need to jump their butt about something, they know that you care and there’s a place of love that’s coming from, and people respect that.”
Evers, soon to be a redshirt sophomore, still has three years of remaining eligibility, and could be in the running to potentially start for Wisconsin in 2025 alongside Braedyn Locke, should he piece it all together.