It’s that time of year once again, as days become longer, snow eventually melts and pads begin to pop once again in Madison.
Of course we’re talking about the start of another Spring Football season, which will be getting underway shortly for the Wisconsin Badgers. It will be the fourth such occurrence for head coach Paul Chryst and his staff, and that means things should be down to a science by now.
But, as we turn towards the 2018 season it is also a reminder that things can be new too.
As Spring Football gets going inside the Dave McClain Center in due order, it’s a good time to look at what to expect from each position this spring.
We’ll start by looking at a position that should intrigue but could also be on lock down this spring — quarterback.
Returning Starter: Alex Hornibrook, RS-Jr. (2,644 yards, 25 TD’s, 15 INT’s, 62.2 comp. % in 2017)
Other Scholarship Players: Jack Coan (So.), Karé Lyles (RS-So.), Danny Vanden Boom (RS-Fr.)
Reason to Watch This Position: Improvement
The highs of Alex Hornibrook in 2017 were amazing, and few will forget his deadly accurate and impressive night on the biggest stage of the Orange Bowl. But, there were lows and very bad lows for him in 2017 as well, leaving plenty of room for improvement heading in to 2017.
Hornibrook isn’t afraid to work on his game to say the least, but some of the problem could be in how he goes about working. Some have indicated that he studies so much film that he gets in his own head and it causes him to be too slow in progressions when in real-time situations.
Last offseason he went to work in San Diego to improve his game and there’s no doubt we saw improvement. What did Hornibrook take away from his 2017 and how will he improve his game in 2018?
While the feelings towards Hornibrook turned positive from a lot of people in UW’s fanbase at the end of 2017, there is plenty of reason to remain skeptical that he gives this offense the best chance to win. He needs to show the coaching staff and onlookers that he’s begun to turn the corner in terms of putting the physical and mental sides of his game together consistently. Good thing that that is exactly what Spring football is for then
Player to Watch: Jack Coan
It may be that Alex Hornibrook is going to be the starting quarterback once again in 2018, but one great Orange Bowl did not a consistent 2017 make. There is plenty of room for growth in Hornibrook’s game.
Coan didn’t do the typical freshman thing last season and redshirt, partly because the numbers were so low, but also partly because he earned it with a really strong fall camp. The young signal caller got his feet wet in 2017, seeing action in six games and going 5 of 5 passing for 36 yards in his first season.
He’s got a ton of potential and could be the answer to the consistency the Badgers are looking for at the quarterback position. Don’t be surprised to see him really push Hornibrook to be better at a bare minimum and to see him push for the starting job at the craziest of scenarios this offseason. Either way, the future will be bright with Coan in the mix.