Wisconsin Coach Luke Fickell Makes QB1 Decision, Battle For QB2 Takes Unexpected Turn

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Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell is locked in on Tanner Mordecai as the team’s starting QB going into the 2023 season.

Ever since the former SMU star transferred to the Badgers for his final year of eligibility, the belief has been he’ll be under center slinging it as QB1. That’s even what former backup Chase Wolf was reportedly told, which caused him to leave the program.

Well, that’s exactly what happened when spring practice opened, according to Zach Heilprin. However, it wasn’t Nick Evers who took most of the QB2 reps. It was former Mississippi State QB Braedyn Locke.

Luke Fickell and the Badgers are rolling with Tanner Mordecai.

The fact Mordecai took every single first-team rep shouldn’t surprise anyone. He wasn’t brought into Madison to ride the bench.

The former SMU passer was brought in so he could help Luke Fickell kickstart the reset on Wisconsin football.

Tanner Mordecai is locked in as QB1 for the Wisconsin Badgers. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He threw for 72 touchdowns and 7,152 yards the past two seasons at SMU. Mordecai is an absolute gunslinger in the best way possible. He puts up video game numbers.

With the Badgers doing a hard reset and opening up the offense with Phil Longo as OC, it makes sense for Tanner Mordecai to lead the way.

The battle for QB2 is underway.

While Tanner Mordecai getting the starting nod isn’t surprising for Wisconsin fans, Braedyn Locke getting most of the QB2 reps is definitely surprising.

Most Wisconsin fans, myself included, believed Nick Evers would slide right into the QB2 role with Locke and Myles Burkett battling it out for the QB3 role.

It appears that to open spring practice, Locke is ahead of Evers on the depth chart. Now, it is just one practice. Luke Fickell could simply rotate guys through the QB2 role. I wouldn’t recommend reading into it too much right now.

However, if Braedyn Locke dominates QB2 reps over Nick Evers, who transferred from Oklahoma, throughout camp, that will definitely become a big story for fans in Wisconsin.

Will Nick Evers be QB2 for the Wisconsin Badgers? (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

Spring ball is underway, and that means the regular season is just a few months away. Wisconsin Badgers fans can’t wait to see the new and improved program once week one rolls around. It definitely looks like Tanner Mordecai will be under center letting it fly. That’s exactly who fans wanted as QB1, and it’s who Luke Fickell has pulled the trigger on.

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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