first_imgBraun: The question that has challenged the UW football coaching staff all summer has been one with two answers. At least that’s what we thought.Who will start at quarterback for the Badgers? The most logical answers would be Dustin Sherer or Curt Phillips — either the experienced senior or the hyped freshman.Then, seemingly in a matter of days, that competition was all for naught. Sherer begins to learn hand motions on the sidelines and Phillips is in cruise control, getting ready to start against Northern Illinois on Saturday.And now, your starting quarterback is… Scott Tolzien?Wait, really?When the coaching staff released the depth chart on Aug. 27, I was surprised to see Zach Brown ahead of John Clay and the freshman Mike Taylor on top of the linebacker core, but none of them compare to the shock from seeing Tolzien’s name on the top of the list.Now I know we haven’t seen much from Tolzien. A brief appearance at Iowa last season was just about as much he’s played in any game in his career at UW. He might work hard, but it’s not like he’s much more developed in game situations than Phillips.Obviously, Tolzien has played more than Phillips, but what he lacks in past game experience, he makes up for with talent and the ability to develop as UW’s quarterback over the next four seasons. That should be enough for the UW coaching staff to put him in the starting role.Bleach: Bret Bielema anointing junior Scott Tolzien as his starting quarterback is surprising, Jonah, I will give you that.Opening the season with freshman linebacker Mike Taylor among the front seven, however, is nothing short of shocking.Coming out of spring camp, Bielema assured the media the three linebackers would be Jaevery McFadden, Culmer St. Jean and Blake Sorensen, with no one else being close.Well, two out of three ain’t bad.Although Sorensen probably isn’t too pleased with the move, everyone else in Badgerland should be. With Taylor starting as a freshman, Wisconsin will have a legit linebacker for four straight years (barring injury, knock on wood!) and a cornerstone leader of the defense in the wings.The defense had two major weaknesses last year: giving up big plays and struggling to create big plays. You know, other than that, they were fine.With Taylor in the game, hopefully at least one of those issues will be resolved. Although Taylor is a fairly big unknown, the rumor mill and my eyes from fall practice saw a fast linebacker who is extremely aggressive. The crystal ball we keep in the Herald shows sacks, interceptions and forced fumbles in his future.Either way, starting Taylor is the boldest of many moves Bielema has enacted since fall camp broke. It’s up to the precocious youngster to prove it’s also his wisest.last_img

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