Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 12:12 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist was recently granted a release from his scholarship in South Bend, and the highly-touted high school star is reportedly considering Wisconsin for his final year of eligibility.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing sources familiar with both Notre Dame and Wisconsin, report " Crist is high on Wisconsin." The former Irish signal-caller is set to graduate from Notre Dame later this month, making him eligible for the "free agent"-style transfer recently exhibited by current Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson. For Crist to use his final year of eligibility at an FBS school in 2012, he would need to enroll in a graduate program not offered at Notre Dame.
Crist won a quarterback battle with Tommy Rees before the start of the 2011 season, but was benched after Notre Dame's 23-20 loss to South Florida in the first week of the season. Over the course of the season he eventually dropped to No. 3 on the Irish depth chart behind sophomore Andrew Hendrix, and his decision to leave came as no surprise to most.
Wilson's success in Paul Chyst's pro-style offense has been well publicized throughout the season. While head coach Bret Bielema cannot comment on potential transfers due to NCAA rules, he has acknowledged that there has been a heightened interest in transferring to Madison.
“Because of the success of Russell Wilson,” Bielema said, “I’ve been contacted by almost 10 players who want to talk about the opportunity to transfer in to the University of Wisconsin.”
Jon Budmayr, the starting quarterback at the end of Wisconsin's spring practice in 2011, fell from the quarterback race in the fall with nerve problems in his right elbow. Redshirt freshman Joe Brennan and freshman Joel Stave are both prepared to compete for the starting job after Wilson's departure. When healthy, Crist threw for over 2,000 yards and completed 59.2 percent of his passes over nine games in 2010. But even that season was ended when he suffered a torn patella tendon in his right knee, the second season ending injury in the same knee.
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Tags: Bart Houston, Big Ten, Bret Bielema, Brian Kelly, Chip Patterson, College Football Free Agents, Curt Phillips, Dayne Crist, Dayne Crist Leaving, Dayne Crist Notre Dame, Dayne Crist Rumors, Dayne Crist Transfer, Dayne Crist Transfer Rumors, Dayne Crist Wisconsin, Free Agents, Joe Brennan, Joel Stave, Jon Budmayr, Non-BCS, Paul Chryst, Russell Wilson
Posted on: September 3, 2011 11:37 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
1. Ohio State isn't back, because they never went anywhere to begin with. Let's get one thing out of the way: Ohio State was only playing Akron. Beating Akron proves nothing. The Buckeyes probably aren't going to be the last team to beat Akron by 42 points this season. And yet, that sure looked like Jim Tressel's Ohio State, didn't it?
It makes sense that OSU still looks mostly the same, to an extent; Luke Fickell is a Jim Tressel disciple, and the rest of the Tressel staff is still in place. Further, the vast majority of OSU's superior talent is back. Terrelle Pryor is gone, obviously, and there are a handful of starters who are suspended for the early going. But OSU's real strength didn't lie in its starters' talent, it was having second- and third-stringers who could start for pretty much any other team, and those guys are all still around. So Fickell's got some institutional advantages in place.
But keeping those players focused in the middle of what's arguably OSU's largest scandal is much easier said than done, and Fickell deserves a ton of credit for maintaining control of the program when it looked like all hell would break loose. Nobody's talking about Terrelle Pryor in Columbus today, they're talking about the Buckeyes. That's the way it ought to be.
2. It's like thunder! And lightning! On its face, it seems silly to discuss non-catastrophic weather in a column called "what I learned"; everyone's got that sort of thing figured out by, oh, third grade. But I did learn that even in the legendary, leaderish Big Ten, they will flat-out cancel the rest of a football game on account of lightning if it persists long enough.
That's precisely what happened Saturday, when Michigan and Western Michigan officials decided to call off a 34-10 contest with over a full quarter remaining in the game. The weather report looked grim at that point, and it was unlikely that the game could be finished before at least 10:00. Still, even though it's admirable that there are rules with the protection of fans and players in mind like this, it also seems decidedly un-football to do so. Oh, if it weren't for that pesky liability. Alas.
3. The Leaders Division is Wisconsin's to lose right now. Sure, Wisconsin's defense struggled at times with the UNLV rushing attack, but not disastrously so, and the second unit of the Badger offense was pretty pedestrian. That's all true. What Wisconsin showed on offense on Thursday rendered that all moot. Russell Wilson made the best reads of anybody in the Big Ten in Week 1, and he's only been in Madison for a few months. He also showed the best rushing acumen of any Big Ten quarterback not named Taylor Martinez or Denard Robinson. And oh yes, the Wisconsin rushing attack is as mansome as ever. The Badgers don't have a bruiser anymore, and mountain man Gabe Carimi is off starting in the NFL, but the mashing will continue apace for another year as long as James White and Montee Ball are healthy.
If Wisconsin had a decent second quarterback (or if presumptive backup Jon Budmayr's arm were healthy), or if this game were in November, it might have hung 70 or 80 on UNLV. The offense scored touchdowns on seven of its first eight possessions, and the only reason it didn't get eight was because it got the ball in its own territory with only 47 seconds left (that ended up being a field goal). It was 51-3 early in the second half. Yes, it's only UNLV, but the Badgers are probably going to score at least 31 points in every game in the Big Ten. Do you really see any team that's going to outscore them?
4. Being a running back at Iowa is still a catastrophic idea. Iowa tailback Marcus Coker was expected to be the workhorse of the Iowa offense in 2011, so it was jarring to say the least to see him put two fumbles on the turf early in the first quarter of Iowa's opener against Tennessee Tech. In came true freshman Mika'il McCall, who wowed fans with 61 yards on nine carries in the first quarter. For a backfield that's short on experience, that kind of firepower would be crucial over the course of the Big Ten season.
So naturally, McCall suffered a broken ankle on his ninth carry, and he is gone for the year, according to Kirk Ferentz. McCall is just the latest in a series of Iowa runing backs who have been stricken with serious injuries, missed seasons, or other early exits over the last few years, a list that includes former starters Jewel Hampton (ACLs, transfer), Adam Robinson (concussions, dismissal), Brandon Wegher (personal issues, transfer), Paki O'Meara (concussions), and even in a sense Shonn Greene (academics, early NFL entry). Former starting fullback Brad Rogers is also sidelined with a heart issue, although he's still working to rejoin the Hawkeyes at some point. It's a legacy of disaster that some have semi-jokingly blamed on the "Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God." The evidence seems to be overwhelmingly in the favor of such a god existing. At any rate, here's hoping McCall recovers well from his broken ankle and the Big Ten sees him again in 2012.
Tags: Adam Jacobi, Adam Robinson, AIRBHG, Akron, Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God, Big Ten, Brad Rogers, Brandon Wegher, Denard Robinson, Gabe Carimi, Iowa, James White, Jewel Hampton, Jim Tressel, Jon Budmayr, Luke Fickell, MAC, Marcus Coker, Michigan, Mika'il McCall, Montee Ball, Mountain West, Non-BCS, Ohio State, Paki O'Meara, Russell Wilson, Shonn Greene, Taylor Martinez, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee Tech, Terrelle Pryor, UNLV, Week 1, Western Michigan, What I Learned, Wisconsin
Posted on: August 23, 2011 2:15 am
Edited on: August 23, 2011 2:22 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Russell Wilson's ascension to the top of Wisconsin's depth chart is officially complete. The senior quarterback, a ballyhooed transfer from North Carolina State, was officially named Wisconsin's starting quarterback in the depth chart sent out by the football program on Monday evening.
Wilson's designation comes a day after another commendation from the program, when Wilson was named one of four co-captains by his teammates. As noted by Wisconsin RapidReporter Tamira Madsen, the other co-captains are FS Aaron Henry, DL Patrick Butrym and Bradie Ewing. All four captains are seniors.
It's remarkable what a godsend Wilson has been for the program already. Wilson probably isn't going to approach his highest levels of production from his time at NC State -- the 379 straight pass attempts without an interception probably aren't going to happen again, nor is Wilson likely to throw for the 260 yards per game he averaged over the last two years for the Wolfpack. Wisconsin didn't need that heavy production from Scott Tolzein last season, and it probably won't ask the same of Wilson either -- especially since it's Wilson's first and only season with the program.
No, Wilson's real value for the Badgers comes from the simple fact that he's a healthy, experienced quarterback. Wisconsin's quarterback depth took a big hit this offseason when talented backup Curt Phillips suffered a setback in his ACL tear recovery; he's out for the second straight season. Jon Budmayr, who was projected to start before Wilson showed up and is currently second on Wisconsin's depth chart at QB, is experiencing such extensive nerve problems in his right arm that he's experiencing numbness and may require season-ending surgery. Past those two, Wisconsin has senior mop-up man Nate Tice (yes, son of Mike Tice) and a handful of freshmen. Without Wilson, the Badgers' quarterback situation would be in dire straits.
The news about the captaincy, then, is even better for the Badgers. It's one thing to depend on Wilson as a starting quarterback out of sheer necessity, as is pretty much the case for Wisconsin. It's another that Wilson has apparently taken to his role so well that his teammates have imbued him with leadership status. Sure, you want that from a starting senior quarterback, but you also want said senior quarterback to have spent years, not just months, developing relationships with his teammates, so for Wilson to be at this level already, either everything has to have gone well or the Badgers are insane and acting against their best interests. So it's probably much more the former and not the latter.
All of which is to say, the Russell Wilson Era has officially begun. It's only going to be a season long, but it's probably going to be one heck of a season.
Posted on: August 11, 2011 10:53 am
Edited on: August 12, 2011 9:31 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Ever since Russell Wilson announced his intentions to transfer to Wisconsin, Badger fans felt that their concerns at quarterback were answered. Head coach Brett Bielema and the rest of the coaching staff has maintained that the starting quarterback position is still open for competition. On Wednesday, one of Wilson's primary competitors suffered a familiar setback - making it seem more and more likely the former N.C. State quarterback will be lining up under center for the Badgers on Sept. 1.
Junior Jon Budmayr, who finished spring practice as the first string quarterback, did no throwing in practice on Wednesday because of pain his right elbow. Budmayr told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after practice that he was going to be cautious with the injury.
"We figured it is best just to shut it down and hopefully be back sooner rather than later," Budmayr said.
Budmayr missed two months of action in his freshman year because of elbow pain that eventually required surgery. So it makes sense that the junior would want to be wary of overworking and causing re-injury.
"I don't know if it is exactly the same," Budmayr explained. "Right now it is kind of the same feeling so I figured if we can get it early, hopefully it will be better.
"I've just got to be smart and take it one day at a time."
Every day more reports from Madison suggest that Wilson is growing comfortable with the Badger offense, and it may behoove Budmayr to keep his health as a top priority. After all, while Budmayr was the top quarterback on the post-spring depth chart he did not perform well enough to lock to the position in for the 2011 season. Wilson, who will be using his final year of NCAA eligibility this season, will be gone after this year and a healthy Budmayr should be a favorite to be his successor.
Posted on: May 11, 2011 11:31 am
Edited on: May 11, 2011 11:43 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Former North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson has been one of the hot topics of discussion in the last weeks, after head coach Tom O'Brien granted Wilson a release from his scholarship. Wilson has one year of college football eligibility left, and would only need to enroll in a graduate program not offered by N.C. State to use it at another BCS school. According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, one of the schools that Wilson has contacted about playing in 2011 is Wisconsin.
School officials cannot comment on the issue because Wilson is currently considered an unsigned recruit by the NCAA, but Wilson's arrival would be the perfect answer for a quarterback position lacking experience (and a starter fans can get excited about) at this point. Jon Budmayr is currently the Badgers' starting quarterback, but the redshirt sophomore only has played in three games and did not blow anyone away with his performance this spring. Backups Joe Brennan and Joel Stave have no game experience.
Wilson has been playing second base with the Asheville Tourists this offseason, the single A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies organization believes that Wilson will finish the minor league season, which runs through September 5. But reports from sources close to Wilson believe there is as much as a "95 percent chance" that he will be playing college football in the fall. Wisconsin opens fall camp in early August, and kick off the 2011 season Sept. 1 against UNLV.
Posted on: April 23, 2011 8:49 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
On the same day that Wisconsin wrapped up spring practice with its spring game, the Badgers found out that they'll be without one of their quarterbacks for the entire 2011 season. Curt Phillips had to undergo surgery on his right knee on Saturday, his third procedure on the knee, and the school announced his season was over.
While neither Wisconsin nor Bret Bielema would not go into specifics on Phillips' surgery, he did need to undergo surgery in March of 2010 after tearing the ACL in his right knee. The same ACL he tore a second time during a practice on November 9 of 2010. Odds are that the ACL is to blame for this latest setback.
Making matters worse for the senior-to-be, Phillips already used his redshirt season during his first year in Madison, and will have to seek a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA to be eligible for one more season in 2012.
As for how this effects Wisconsin, it's not good. Though Phillips wasn't slated to be the starter in 2011, he was expected to back up redshirt sophomore Jon Budmayr. This latest setback leaves the Badgers with only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in Budmayr and redshirt freshman Joe Brennan. Neither of whom lit the world on fire during Saturday's scrimmage.
Phillips has completed 7 of 12 passes for 65 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in his Wisconsin career. All of which came during the 2009 season.
Posted on: March 23, 2011 3:43 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
As far as injury woes go, no one at Texas or Wisconsin is going to do too much complaining in the light of the injury plague affecting already-shorthanded USC.
But there's probably going to be at least a little griping after potential all-conference performers at both schools had surgery this past week to repair a broken foot, sidelining them for the duration of spring practice.
At Texas, the player in question is outside linebacker Jordan Hicks, who Longhorn officials confirmed via Twitter has broken his right foot. A consensus five-star megarecruit and prep All-American in the class of 2010, Hicks got his feet wet with 21 tackles as a true freshman and is expected to become a major contributor to the Longhorn linebacking corps this fall under aggressive new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. But those expectations may have to be dialed back with Hicks forced to miss the rest of spring, and no doubt falling behind his teammates in adjusting to Diaz's schemes.
At Wisconsin, wide receiver Nick Toon -- son of New York Jets great Al Toon, though you probably knew that already -- is taking on a very different role this spring after breaking a bone in his left foot:
The Badgers football team started spring practices on Tuesday, with Toon on crutches and his left foot in a boot after surgery last week to repair a fracture to the fifth metatarsal.
Unlike Hicks, the senior Toon has enough experience that the missed practice won't hurt him too badly. But who it might hurt is Budmayr, who could certainly benefit from working on his timing with his future No. 1 receiver and gaining the confidence that comes with throwing to a steady, veteran hand like Toon.
The good news for both Texas and Wisconsin -- other than that neither is USC -- is that both Hicks and Toon should be 100 percent by the time fall camp rolls around. But for one team looking to atone for a 5-7 disaster and one trying to preserve their precarious perch atop the Big Ten, even relatively minor setbacks like these can prove crucial come the crucible of the season.