Tanner McEvoy’s winding road continued Monday with a verbal commitment to play quarterback for Wisconsin.
It will be the third stop in seven months for the former South Carolina Gamecock, who started in his hometown of Hillsdale, N.J, before moving to Columbia, S.C., to Arizona Western Junior College in Yuma, Ariz. and now to Madison, Wis.
“I have gotten used to almost every type of weather you can throw at me,” McEvoy said Monday. “I can adjust to where I live. I am just trying to go play some football.”
McEvoy was the New Jersey offensive player of the year in 2010 and considered a three-star prospect when he signed with South Carolina in 2011. After a redshirt season, he entered the 2012 season fifth on the team’s depth chart. He was suspended briefly after being charged with speeding and driving after consuming alcohol in North Carolina and transferred shortly after being reinstated.
“There were a lot of things, but (playing time) was probably the main reason,” McEvoy said of his departure from South Carolina. “I am done with the whole South Carolina deal. I’ve got a new team now. I’m ready to move on.”
After leaving Columbia, McEvoy was contacted by several schools and picked Arizona Western because he felt it was his quickest route back the top level of college football, he said.
“I wanted to go back to the big stage,” he said.
The 6-foot-6 McEvoy was the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference offensive player of the year in 2012 after throwing for 1,943 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. He was rated a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 1 dual threat junior college quarterback by 247Sports.com after the season.
McEvoy was recruited by the Badgers, Florida, Oregon and West Virginia. At one point, Texas also showed interest. First-year Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen is a former assistant coach under Urban Meyer.
“He mixes it up (on offense),” McEvoy said of Andersen. “They said if I do start, which I hopefully will, that they’ll play to their players’ strengths so I’m sure they will do some shotgun stuff and get me out in the open. It’s a great program obviously. I had some great schools to choose from. I felt the most comfortable there. It just seemed like a great opportunity to me.”
The Gamecocks, meanwhile, remain well stocked at quarterback. South Carolina is expected to have a senior (Connor Shaw), one junior (Dylan Thompson), one redshirt freshman (Brendan Nosovitch) and one incoming freshman (Connor Mitch, who enrolled in January) on the 2013 fall roster at quarterback.