MADISON, Wis. — At the end of Saturday's practice, the first of the 2017 season, all the quarterbacks not named Alex Hornibrook got to throw against a defense of their peers (young players). Getting the extra reps were redshirt freshman Karé Lyles and true freshmen Jack Coan and Danny Vanden Boom.
Identifying a backup QB might not sound sexy or seem like a pressing matter. But it could be if Hornibrook gets hurt since Lyles, Coan and Vanden Boom have never taken a snap in a college football game. An injury, at that, knocked Hornibrook out of the Minnesota regular-season finale last November.
Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst did a masterful job in 2016 getting the most out of Bart Houston, a fifth-year senior, and Hornibrook, then a redshirt freshman. Houston started the first three games and the last two, including the Cotton Bowl. Hornibrook started the other nine, all in the Big Ten.
Lyles and Coan know what's at stake.
"This fall camp," said Lyles, who hails from Scottsdale, Arizona, "is critical for me and my future."
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