Tanner McEvoy poised to challenge Joel Stave
MADISON—Not long after his arrival last summer from Arizona Western College, it was clear quarterback Tanner McEvoy wasn’t ready to run Wisconsin’s offense.
He appeared tentative and overwhelmed and eventually played most of the season at safety.
Today, McEvoy looks like a quarterback capable of challenging returning starter Joel Stave.
“He carries himself like a quarterback,” UW coach Gary Andersen said Saturday after the Cardinal’s 6-0 victory over the White in the annual spring game at Camp Randall Stadium. “I think when he walked in here before, he carried himself like a quarterback that was absorbing a very difficult offense and new terminology.
“So much of the run checks that he has to handle and the demeanor that he carried himself with last August and the way he carries himself today is really completely different.”
McEvoy’s numbers in the half during which official statistics were kept were modest. He completed 4 of 10 passes for 55 yards—with two drops and one throw-away—and rushed three times for 9 yards.
However, during a controlled scrimmage in the first half McEvoy threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Kenzel Doe and had runs of 35 and 7, the latter for a touchdown.
“I think I played pretty good today,” McEvoy said. “I left some things out there but any player would say that. I think I had a pretty well-rounded day.”
McEvoy got all the reps with the No. 1 offense because Stave (shoulder) missed the last week of spring ball.
Stave, who has 19 starts, and McEvoy appear set to battle for the No. 1 job in camp. The battle for No. 3 likely will be between Bart Houston and freshman D.J. Gillins.
Houston acknowledged Saturday he struggled trying to force balls into coverage midway through the spring because he was pressing. Gillins has a live arm and can run but remains a raw prospect.