Luke Fickell Sounds Decided On A Starter From Wisconsin's Stacked QB Room

Wisconsin football coach Luke Fickell can't stop pouring praise on QB Tanner Mordecai.

The former SMU QB transferred to the Badgers for his final year of eligibility, and while no official starter for the 2023 season, it seems to be a guarantee it's Mordecai if you read between the lines.

Fickell spoke Thursday night about the team's stacked QB room, which also features elite QB recruit and Oklahoma transfer Nick Evers, and his comments were focused on Mordecai.

Fickell has a lot of respect for what Mordecai brings to the table.

It wasn’t just the offense (he played in). They sling the ball around. You respected him when you were preparing for him. We didn't feel like we wanted him to sit back there (in the pocket) because he's very talented and really good," Fickell explained Thursday night, according to 247Sports.

The new head coach of the Badgers also added, "I think what we saw a little bit more of this past year that made me even more nervous (to face him) was his athleticism. Not that it created and developed over one year, but I think this past year he showed some other things that make him a bit more dynamic as — not a dual-threat guy — but a guy who can create and extend plays differently than what I had seen in the past."

Luke Fickell and the Badgers are starting a new era of football.

While Fickell certainly never indicated who will start, it seems reasonable to read his comments and come away with the belief Tanner Mordecai will be under center week one.

At the very least, Mordecai will enter the spring as QB1. If I had to guess, Mordecai will be QB1, Nick Evers will be QB2 and then there will be a race for the QB3 spot sorted out in spring ball and training camp.

Fickell didn't get Mordecai to leave SMU to ride the bench, and he wouldn't have come to Madison if he wasn't going to play. Add in the head coach's comments about how talented he is, and it's pretty clear where Luke Fickell views Mordecai in the lineup.

Guys who scored 76 touchdowns over the past two seasons don't ride the pine.

More than anything, Wisconsin is ushering in a new era of football on the offensive side of the ball. In order to do it, Luke Fickell will need a proven commodity at QB. Right now, that's Tanner Mordecai, and while Nick Evers has a very high ceiling, the experience just isn't there as of today.