March 7, 2012

Budmayr to miss spring camp

MADISON -- And then there were two.

As head coach Bret Bielema talked Wednesday afternoon about his former players working out at UW's Pro Day, the topic of the current Badgers eventually came up.

When it did, Bielema shared some insights on where those players and the Wisconsin program was at just two weeks before the start of spring football. Of particular interest was the quarterback position, where the Badgers will have to find a new starter for the second straight season.

Much like a year ago, UW will have just two quarterbacks -- Joel Stave and Joe Brennan working throughout spring camp. After missing last season with a nerve issue in his throwing arm that eventually required surgery, Jon Budmayr will likely miss all of spring ball as well.

"Jon has encountered some other issues now that have come up that are probably going to restrict him from all of spring ball," Bielema said. "We're just trying to get Jon healthy overall before we even think about from a football standpoint.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with him. He is really going through a lot of appointments and meetings. Hopefully we're going to get some answers for him soon.

"I don't know if it's career threatening, but I know it's more of the same that they haven't really gotten a handle on.

"I think like anybody, when you're a person and you go to a doctor and you expect to find and answer and it's not there, it gets frustrating. So we're trying to find those things out."

As he continues to recover from another knee injury, Curt Phillips will be limited as well, leaving the Badgers with just Stave and Brennan to compete during spring camp.

Bielema put a positive spin on the situation, saying he believed it would be very beneficial for the two to be the only quarterbacks competing in camp for the second straight season. The other plus for the Badgers is the fact that Phillips will do a bit more than expected.

"Curt will be doing a little more than we thought early on," Bielema said. "He looked really good this morning. I saw him doing a full sprint this morning. But with him, it's about being in a pocket in a practice situation with live bodies around you.

"All passing situations, stuff that's not live, he'll be involved in that pretty good."

Bielema also commented on the news of incoming freshman quarterback Bart Houston, who will have shoulder surgery.

While it is not particularly serious, the surgery likely will be a setback for Houston as far as fully participating in fall camp with the Badgers.

"Due to a previous injury, he's got basically a cyst that they're going to remove from his shoulder," Bielema said. "Nothing that they're overly concerned about, but it will set him back as far as his timing to be with us 100 percent in the fall."

Wisconsin's departing quarterback, Russell Wilson put on a pretty good show Wednesday afternoon for NFL scouts, completing 60-of-63 passes.

Wilson also shared his thoughts about who might take over the behind center for UW.

"It all depends on how they prepare, man," Wilson said. "Like I always say, the separation is in the preparation. So whoever prepares the best way, whoever sets their mind on being the best here at the University of Wisconsin will have the opportunity, I believe.

"And I know that whoever takes the job will do a great job and win a lot of football games."

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