Malik Zaire set to visit Wisconsin Wednesday

MADISON, Wis. — Senior quarterback Malik Zaire has been granted his release from Notre Dame and will visit Wisconsin on Wednesday and North Carolina on Friday.

Zaire is looking for a new home to play out his final year of college eligibility and Wisconsin is on his list of potential schools. The arguments are strong for the Badgers to gain Zaire’s services, having turned Russell Wilson into one of the best quarterbacks in college football via graduate transfer. Wilson transferred from N.C. State where he was largely leaning towards a professional career in baseball. Then offensive coordinator, Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst was able to develop Wilson’s talents and lead Wilson and the Badgers to the Rose Bowl.

Zaire could follow a similar path, also possessing the ability to run the football. In 2014, Zaire was named the Music City Bowl MVP in his first career start. He’d go on to start the first two games of the 2015 season only to suffer a broken right ankle. He then split time with DeShone Kizer in this season’s opener against Texas, both ultimately lost the quarterback battle.

As a starter, Zaire leaves Notre Dame with a 3-0 record, 816 yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions, and 324 rushing yards with two touchdowns.

Wisconsin West: Seahawks sign former UW quarterback Joel Stave to their practice squad

Seattle is starting to look very much like Wisconsin West.

A day after being cut from the Minnesota Vikings practice squad, former Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave was signed to the Seahawks practice squad on Wednesday. He joins three other former Badgers signal callers in Seattle — offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver Tanner McEvoy.

“I’m not sure if you guys noticed, but we’re stockpiling Wisconsin quarterbacks,” Bevell said with a smile when he met with reporters on Wednesday. “There’s four of us here. Two of us don’t play the position anymore, so I think that tells you something, but I’m excited to have those guys here.”

The three players know each other well. Stave was a freshman during Wilson’s lone season in Madison in 2011, while McEvoy and Stave battled for the starting gig at Wisconsin in 2013 and 2014, before they moved McEvoy to wide receiver where he caught 10 passes in 2015.

Bevell and Stave are the No. 1 and No. 2 all-time leading passers in Wisconsin history, while Wilson owns nearly every single-season passing record at UW, including yards (3,175), touchdowns (33) and passing efficiency (191.8). In 2014, McEvoy broke the single-season school record for rushing yards (574) by a quarterback.

In the preseason with Minnesota, Stave threw for 285 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Wilson Embellished Facts During Commencement Speech

By Eric Rogers
May 16, 2016
MADISON, Wis. — According to Backing the Pack, a blog site focusing on North Carolina State athletics, former University of Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson embellished some of the facts he included in his commencement speech this weekend.
In his address of UW grads, Wilson spoke about always being prepared. To illustrate that point, Wilson recounted a baseball game he was a part of on Feb. 26. 2010 against UC | Irvine.

“Another time life told me no was during my junior year when I was playing baseball. My freshman and sophomore year at NC State, I had about 450 to 500 at-bats.”

According to records from NC State, Wilson actually logged 143 at-bats, which falls in line with his thought that he “barely played,” but his batting average was below .200, so that would explain why he didn’t get as many chances as he’d like. However, he went on to get a career-high 98 at-bats in his junior season in question.
Wilson’s claim that he was held out of that game because it was late in the season and he was draft-eligible is also misleading. The UC | Irvine contest was just the fifth of the season.
He went on to explain that he sat around in that game waiting for the opportunity to play, which he says didn’t come until the Wolfpack was down to its final out and the game was tied in extra innings. Wilson said he hit the game-winning home run, which records show was true.

“Everyone in the stands that day, they saw the game-winning home run. But they probably didn’t notice the guy who spent all those innings on the edge of the dugout with a helmet on his head and a bat in his hand. But if I hadn’t stayed prepared like that for 10 or 11 innings, that home run, that never would have happened.”

Again, Wilson’s recollection of that game were incorrect, as the box score shows two at-bats for the future Badger. But what really upset former NC State teammates was his illustration of his dismissal from the football team.

That’s what brought me to University of Wisconsin. The summer before my senior year of college, I’m playing minor league baseball. I call my football coach at N.C. State and say, “Hey Coach, I’d like to come back for my senior year.”
And he told me I wasn’t coming back. He said: “Listen son, you’re never going to play in the National Football League. You’re too small. There’s no chance. You got no shot, give it up.”
I said, “So you’re telling me if I come back to N.C. State, I won’t see the field?” He said, “No, son, you won’t see the field.”

Former NC State offensive guard Kalani Heppe took to Twitter to voice his opinion on Wilson’s rendition of his split with coach Tom O’Brien and the football program.

 

Russell Wilson Named Pro Bowl MVP

By Eric Rogers
Feb. 1, 2016 8:14 a.m. CT
HONOLULU — Former Badger Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns and earned Pro Bowl MVP honors in Team Michael Irvin’s 49-27 win over Team Jerry Rice.
Wilson completed eight of his 12 passes for 164 yards in one half of action.
The three Packers players competing in the Pro Bowl were John Kuhn, Clay Matthews, and Julius Peppers, although their participation came in a losing effort. Kuhn caught the ball three times for 17 yards, while Matthews and Peppers recorded six and one tackles, respectively.
Former Packers cornerback Charles Woodson recorded just a single tackle in his final NFL game. He retires at the age of 39.