The University of Wisconsin football team's quarterback battle this spring will not include Jon Budmayr.
Budmayr, who missed the last two seasons with nerve problems in his right elbow — in addition to issues with a shoulder and hip — said prior to the Rose Bowl that he planned to make a comeback this season.
But UW coach Gary Andersen revealed during a pre-spring press conference on Monday that Budmayr has elected to end his playing career and become a student coach. He will remain on a medical scholarship
"Jon's decided that he's going to work with us as a student coach at this point," Andersen said. "He's excited about that and so are we. It's a great opportunity for young men that may want to turn around and coach some day and that's where he is."
Even without Budmayr, who would have been a fifth-year senior, there is still a crowd at quarterback going into the start of spring practices on Saturday. The group includes three players who started games last season — seniors Curt Phillips and Danny O'Brien and sophomore Joel Stave — as well as redshirt freshman Bart Houston.
Also, junior college transfer Tanner McEvoy will join the team this summer. As a result, Andersen said he didn't expect a starter to emerge until sometime during fall camp.
Andersen reiterated what he has said previously, that the junior college players coming in deserve a chance to show what they can do.
And what, specifically, is Andersen looking for from his quarterback? It starts with consistency.
"Really the same thing I want to be able to see from the football team," he said. "I want to see 15 consistent practices."
Then comes effort.
"I want to see tremendous effort out of all of the positions, but the quarterback position, it's important to give great effort mentally every day and great effort physically every day," Andersen said.
Leadership is also crucial.
"At the quarterback position, you want to see leadership," Andersen said. "I want to see someone who's going to break the huddle and I want to see those five offensive linemen's eyes look right in that quarterback's eyes and say, 'I know you've got us,' and 'If I do my job, you're going to take care of business.' "
Picking up the scheme, obviously, is also paramount, but Andersen said the offense will be flexible enough to adjust to the talents of whoever wins the starting job.
"We can adjust the scheme around the talents of the quarterback that we see that's going to take the majority of the snaps in the fall," Andersen said. "There's a lot to that position.
"Their want-to, to learn, is incredible. It's impressive. They're up there all of the time, watching film on their own, breaking it down. They ask tremendous questions. So, so far, so good, but those are the few things we'll look at.
"A lot of things you want to look at the first few days, but everything is new also, so we're going to have to be a little patient."