CHICAGO, IL - It marks the unofficial start to the college football season. Big Ten Conference coaches and players are spending Wednesday and Thursday at the Hilton Chicago for the annual Media Day festivities.
New Badgers head coach Gary Andersen met with reporters Wednesday morning. Andersen takes over the job in Madison after Bret Bielema took the head coaching position at Arkansas last December.
"Well, I think, number one, I'm not interested in comparing what was different, whether that may have been what we deem as being great, good, or indifferent," said Andersen.
"There's going to be differences when you take over a program. It's important to put your own stamp on it."
In only a half-of-a-year on the job, Andersen has shown his roots on the Western side of the country will play a role as to where he recruits.
"I had no idea when I walked in that there's 400-plus high schools that play high school football in Wisconsin. That will stay the same. I think as a conference and I
think as the University of Wisconsin we want to recruit nationally because we can.
"The Big Ten, it's a very, very powerful conference."
Badgers fans will get an immediate look at a junior college transfer Andersen was responsible for bringing to Wisconsin. Tanner McEvoy is now with the team in his sophomore year of eligibility after playing at Arizona Western College.
"Anytime we recruit a junior college player he's going to be given the opportunity to walk in fall camp and compete and get reps with the ones and twos at times just as every freshman will if he deems himself mentally and physically prepared to be able to be in those situations that he has a chance to help our team."
Andersen says right now the starting quarterback job is between McEvoy, redshirt sophomore Joel Stave, and sixth year senior Curt Phillips.
"It will be a three-man race. I have no timeline on it. And we may jog out there the first play of the game with two quarterbacks on the field and see what happens from there. So who knows, it will be interesting."
A University of Wisconsin player made the Big Ten Conference preseason Players to Watch list. Senior linebacker Chris Borland is one of the ten players in the conference to earn the recognition.
"Tremendous kid, tremendous leader, and I believe he's the best linebacker in the
country," said Andersen.