Wisconsin Football Takes A Curveball
Wednesday brought some interesting news to Badger fans across the country, QB Alex Hornibrook has entered the transfer pool to finish out his last season of eligibility elsewhere. The man under center has been the Badgers starting quarterback the past three seasons, finishing with a 26-6 record. Being the QB with the best winning percentage in Badger history, many were shocked by his decision and wonder what it all means, especially with the program moving forward.
Hornibrook’s Wisconsin career has been somewhat of a roller coaster, from someone who has shown that he can compete, especially in the 2017 Orange Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes, but who has also shown that he cannot be the leader this team needs. Fans and critics alike have groaned and pointed out all the things they dislike about Hornibrook, but there is no doubt that number 12 has brought us many memorable moments with his time in Madison and with that we say thank you Alex.
Give Credit When Credit Is Due
I won’t deny it, I have never been the biggest Hornibrook fan, but with what he accomplished in 2017 with the 14-1 record with a win away from potentially getting the Badgers a CFP spot we have been hungry for so long, it’s fair to sit back and think what could have been this season. With his decision made though, we will never know. For the program itself though, it’s time to put the Hornibrook era on the shelf and move forward. There has never been this much buzz around the QB possibility moving forward. With four-star recruit Graham Mertz suiting up in the cardinal red and white, the savior of Badger football could be closer than you think.
There are many hurdles going forward though for Mertz to prove himself for all the hype around him. He will get his opportunity, but I do not believe it will be this upcoming season. There can be growing pains when it comes to going from high school to a Division 1 powerhouse. To just throw him into the mix and not let him grow into his own could be a waste, so let’s settle down Badger Nation, patience is a virtue here. The competition between others is now wide open and it will come own who takes advantage of this game changer. Redshirt sophomore Danny Vanden Boom, redshirt freshman Chase Wolf, and walk on Nate Carter have some big shoes to fill and they will have to give it everything they have to do so.
The Blueprint To Wisconsin’s Reconstruction
The quarter back position has always been the big glare in Wisconsin Football program. Not since Russell Wilson has there been a player behind center that the country had trust in to get the job done. With hope that Mertz will be a Heisman type player, there could be hope for the other three to do their part and get the Badgers back into the nations good grace of college football. If 2018 showed us anything, it is that Jonathan Taylor is a force and the defense was less than stellar with a young backfield. There is plenty of improvements to be made and Hornibrook gone, this might just be the opening the Badgers have been looking for to see what they truly have talent wise.
There is no guarantee that things won’t get worse before they get better, but with Head Coach Paul Chryst at the helm, it’s hard not to hope for a bounce back season in 2019. The badgers still have one of, if not, the best running backs in the nation and a young defensive coordinator that once got the Badgers to have a top three defenses in the nation and I believe it can get there again. 2018 was a harsh wake up call for Wisconsin, but 2019 will be about what this program has learned from last year and how they can move forward. Yesterday’s news should not only be a rejuvenation for this team to compete harder than before, but that if the right pieces fall into place, magical things can occur. In 2019 the Wisconsin Badgers will show their true colors, either to laugh at the face of adversity or to crumble at its feet, only time will tell.