Wisconsin OC Shares Brutally Honest Truth About QBs, Previews New Offense

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Wisconsin offensive coordinator Phil Longo is jumping head first into making changes in Madison.

Longo was hired shortly after Luke Fickell was hired as head coach, and once the duo arrived, fans immediately knew the old smash mouth style of football was over.

However, details still remain hazy about what exactly that means. The man in charge of running the offense has shined a light on it.

Luke Fickell and Phil Longo are changing the culture in Madison. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

“It’s very different,” Longo told 247Sports when talking about what Wisconsin fans can expect this upcoming season.

What exactly does that mean? Well, it sounds like the old playbook has been burned and now a more balanced and diversified attack will take the field.

“I think if you try to go five-wide and air it out from a triple option system you’re probably beating your head against a wall,” Longo said. “I think if you try to go ground and pound from a 10-personnel, Air Raid system, it’s hard. You’re banging your head against the wall, but this system is diverse enough,” Longo further explained.

Phil Longo addresses Wisconsin adding multiple major QBs.

One of the most immediate changes under Luke Fickell and Longo has been the addition of multiple gunslingers.

Former SMU star Tanner Mordecai and former top-10 QB recruit Nick Evers both transferred to Wisconsin after last season. Braedyn Locke, a fellow four star QB, transferred in from Mississippi State and rising 2024 QB Mabrey Mettauer also committed.

Tanner Mordecai will likely be QB1 for the Wisconsin Badgers. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Wisconsin used to rarely land top passing prospects. Those days are gone, and Longo credits a change in offensive philosophy. He also made it clear an upgrade was needed, which is refreshing honesty.

“We were not at all happy with where the quarterback room was when we got here, just evaluating it. We wanted a quarterback that was talented enough to do specific things in the system, and we felt like we needed to go to the portal to get that. So, we brought in Tanner Mordecai, Braedyn Locke and Nick Evers, three quarterbacks who probably would not have considered Wisconsin with the previous offense. That’s not a knock on the previous offense. That’s just truth. They want to be in a diverse system that can be more prolific and more explosive. This system provides that opportunity,” Longo explained.

He said what everyone in Wisconsin was thinking about the QB situation. It’s not often you hear a coach just come out and say it.

Nick Evers transferred to Wisconsin. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Times are changing for the Badgers.

As I’ve covered routinely here at OutKick as a Wisconsin man, fans haven’t been this excited about Badgers football in at least a decade.

The only thing that has come close was when Russell Wilson transferred in, but that was just for one season. Everyone knew that was going to come to a quick end.

If things go well with Luke Fickell, Wisconsin will be rolling for years to come. The days of handing the ball off over and over again are over. It’s time for Phil Longo and Fickell to cut things loose through the air. Wisconsin went from having zero stability at QB to having a very solid QB room in just a few weeks. September truly can’t get here fast enough, and I can promise you that’s how the entire state feels.

Wisconsin fans are excited for the Luke Fickell era. (Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Badgers open September 2 against Buffalo. Buckle up because it’s going to be a wild ride.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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