Four-star JUCO QB Tanner McEvoy commits to Wisconsin Badgers

Newly hired Wisconsin Badgers head coach Gary Andersen has brought in a major piece of the recruiting puzzle in quarterback Tanner McEvoy. (Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports)

Tanner McEvoy is a 6-foot-6, 215-pound native of New Jersey who starred for two seasons at Arizona Western Junior College. Known for his athleticism, McEvoy has made a happy man out of Greg Andersen, the newly hired Wisconsin head coach who accepted the role after leading Utah State to 11 wins in 2012.

On Monday, the four-star signal caller placed a call to McEvoy and athletic Barry Alavarez, officially committing to the Wisconsin Badgers.

“I just committed to Wisconsin,” McEvoy told Badger247. “Coach Gary Andersen, Coach Andy Ludwig, Coach Bill Busch, we all built a great relationship. It just seemed like a great opportunity, great school, great program, and I’m just looking to come in and compete and see how it goes.”

After originally committing to play for South Carolina, McEvoy instead went to Arizona Western to get his grades in order. Despite spending the last couple of years in the warmth of the desert and hoping to do so with the Gamecocks, McEvoy instead returns north.

He chose Madison over Oregon and new head coach Mark Helfrich, as well as the Florida Gators and West Virginia, where the Mountaineers were hoping he could take over for the graduated Geno Smith.

“They put a lot of effort into it,” McEvoy said about the visit. “I’ve been on a lot of visits and this was by far the best one I’d say. They players I met were all great guys. They all seemed to have fun.

“The school itself surprised me. I didn’t know how big the campus was and how big Madison was. There was just a lot of things. It all clicked and it seems like it’s going to be the best move.”

After watching Russell Wilson star in a one-year stint with Wisconsin, Andersen and his staff are hoping they have a similar jewel on their hands with McEvoy. Wilson transferred from North Carolina State and made explosive plays with both his arms and his legs.

McEvoy is the No. 1-rated dual-threat quarterback coming out of the junior college ranks in 2013, and he is expected to arrive in Madison this summer.

He is the one and only quarterback headed to Madison this season, but that is mainly due to the fact that it was simply not a position of need. Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien remains on campus for another season, as does Joel Stave.

McEvoy’s decision does make life harder for Stave. As a redshirt freshman, Stave was plugged into the starter’s role midway through the season and showed off the type of big arm and unflappability that potential stars are made of. However, he sustained a broken collarbone and may prove to be injury-prone. At worst, McEvoy provides insurance. At best, the Badgers make a run at the Big Ten title under either quarterback while the other serves as insurance.

McEvoy also joins running back Corey Clement as four-star, New Jersey recruits.

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