SMU quarterback announces transfer to Wisconsin

Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell and his staff are adding to the quarterback room again.

SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai announced he had entered the transfer portal and will enroll at Wisconsin.

The move comes on the heels of senior Chase Wolf saying he intends to take advantage of his COVID year and stick around for a sixth season, along with the commitment of former Oklahoma quarterback Nick Evers from the transfer portal.

Like Evers, Mordecai got his start with the Sooners. A 4-star recruit out of Waco, Texas, Mordecai sat behind Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray in 2018, Heisman Trophy runner-up Jalen Hurts in 2019 and top-ranked recruit Spencer Rattler in 2020 before transferring to SMU prior to the 2021 season.

Once in Dallas, Mordecai showed the type of talent he possesses. He threw for 7,152 yards, 72 touchdowns and just 22 interceptions in his two seasons with the Mustangs. He also added 302 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, possessing the type of speed at quarterback that Wisconsin hasn’t had in a potential starter since Tanner McEvoy in 2014.

Mordecai was a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award this season, which goes to the top quarterback in the country. He finished eighth in the nation in touchdown passes (33) and 11th in yards per game (293.7), while standing inside the top-30 in quarterback rating and completion percentage.

The hire of Phil Longo as offensive coordinator certainly played a role in getting Mordecai to Madison. Longo recruited Mordecai out of high school when the former was working at Ole Miss and prior to his move to North Carolina. Mordecai’s success through the air and ability to extend plays with his feet gives Longo the type of player he’s looking for at the position as he tries to install his version of the Air Raid offense.

Mordecai joins a room that is undergoing a significant change. Three-year starter Graham Mertz is now at Florida, while redshirt freshman Deacon Hill announced he will transfer to Fordham. It leaves the guys returning in Wolf and redshirt freshman Myles Burkett, the transfer in Evers, along with incoming freshman Cole LaCrue. Those five figure to battle it out for the starting job in spring ball and fall camp.