ESPN: Wisconsin’s quarterback room ‘looking for a reboot’ entering 2024 season

Wisconsin starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke was put in the ‘looking for a reboot’ tier of ESPN’s recent analysis of every quarterback room in the country entering the 2024 college football season.

Staff writer David Hale divided all 134 QB rooms into 20 different tiers, from No. 1 with Alabama’s Jalen Milroe, TexasQuinn Ewers, Georgia’s Carson Beck and others to No. 20 with a collection of the sports’ least-productive players.

Related: Where every Big Ten team ranks in ESPN’s 2024 College Football Power Index

Van Dyke fell into Hale’s 10th tier along with a Louisville QB room led by starter Tyler Shough, Mississippi State led by Blake Shapen, UCF led by K.J. Jefferson and Washington led by Will Rogers.

The ranking makes sense, as both Van Dyke and Wisconsin offensive coordinator Phil Longo enter the season looking to re-establish themselves at the top of the sport. Or, in other words, each have previously been among the sport’s best at their respective jobs, but have since fallen from those positions.

For the quarterback, his peak performance came in 2021 as a redshirt freshman at Miami when he threw for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. That feels like the distant past after consecutive down seasons as a sophomore and junior.

For Longo, that was the last the case during his stop at North Carolina when he led the Tar Heels to some of the nation’s best statistical offenses. Like Van Dyke, he does not hold that sentiment entering 2024 after the Badgers’ offensive struggles last season.

Wisconsin’s long-term outlook does not include Van Dyke under center. But his 2024 season could be the catalyst for a program renaissance, and for Longo’s return to the top of the offensive coordinator ranks.

Here’s some context that ESPN added to the Badger veteran’s final collegiate season:

In his first six games of the season last year, Van Dyke posted a 71.8 Total QBR, completed 70.5% of his passes, 9.4 yards per attempt, threw 16 TDs and 6 interceptions. Then he missed the Clemson game with an injury, which nagged at him the remainder of the season. His stat line the rest of the way: 58.1 Total QBR, 60% completions, 6.6 yards per pass, 3 touchdown passes and 6 picks.

Keeping Van Dyke healthy will be Wisconsin’s main priority this season, especially after 2023 was partially derailed due to an injury to starter Tanner Mordecai. When healthy, Van Dyke has proven to have some serious ability.

The ESPN piece also added a note about Longo and his recent track record:

In his first six years as a Power 5 offensive coordinator, Phil Longo’s teams averaged 3,847 passing yards and 31 touchdown throws per season. Last year — his first at Wisconsin — the Badgers had 2,862 passing yards and just 14 passing touchdowns.

In all, the ‘looking for a reboot’ tier can be applied to the entire Wisconsin football program entering 2024. The on-field product has slipped from where it was from 2016-2019. Fickell, Longo, Van Dyke and others will be charged with re-establishing the standard when the 2024 season kicks off.

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Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire