first_imgBEN CLASSON/Herald photoSaturday, it was finally his turn.And after a lifelong journey that’s taken him all over the world, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more deserving of the job.Wisconsin’s new starting quarterback, Allan Evridge, was born in Frankfurt, Germany – but, but that is hardly a place he calls home. His team biography lists his hometown as Papillon, Neb., but he only lived there for a year-and-a-half.“I never really had a strict hometown, but that’s where I graduated high school,” he explained.Growing up, Allan’s father, James, was in the Air Force, meaning the Evridge family – consisting of Allan, James, Allan’s mother Lori and his brothers Jared and Josh – was on the move more often than not. Among other places, Tthey called Washington, D.C., Colorado Springs and California, among other places, home before Allan reached high school.“Allan was a real good kid,” his father said in a phone interview. “A little quiet and shy. He always hung out with his older brother Josh, played sports with him. He always showed great athletic ability.”Allan played baseball, basketball and track, as well as football, as a kid, excelling in all four. Sports, he said, were what helped him throughout the multiple moving processes.“It was always nice to have sports as an outlet when I was moving,” Allan said. “It helped me make friends.”When freshman year of high school rolled around, Allan found himself in Great Falls, Montana. But like the rest of his former residencies, that one didn’t last long, either. The Evridge family once again packed up and moved to Papillon just before the fall of Allan’s junior year. Football at the new school? Not a problem.“I had to beat a kid out, but that happened fairly quickly,” Allan said.By that point, it was clear to Allan’s father that his son was not just your average football player. In fact, James Evridge – – and Allan’s coaches alike – – had known it for years.“I knew he was [talented],” James said. “Every parent always thinks their kid is outstanding. I try to be as objective as I can, but I was very aware of his talents and abilities. I just didn’t know to what level. Those things were confirmed to me [by his coaches]. When other people go out of their way to say more than just, ‘He’s a good player,’ those things really caught my attention.”The college roller coasterAfter his junior year, Allan committed to play for the University of Nebraska under head coach Frank Solich. Finally, after years of traveling and moving from state to state, Allan could settle down and play football for the coveted Cornhuskers.Or so he thought.2003, Allan’s senior year of high school, 2003, would be Solich’s last in Lincoln, leaving Allan second-guessing his decision to stay in-state.“I was hanging out and waiting to see what was going on,” Evridge explained. “Kansas State was another team I was really interested in; they had just won the Big XII Championship and I really liked Ccoach (Bill) Snyder and what his offense did and what his team stood for. So signing day was coming up, so I decided to sign with Kansas State, since all the coaches I committed to were gone.”Before he even had the opportunity to be a Cornhusker, Allan became a Wildcat, just like that. Allan redshirted in 2004, and in 2005 he quickly stepped into the starting quarterback role after just a handful of games. He made six starts that season, throwing for 1,365 yards and six touchdowns – – a freshman school record – – including a pair of scores in Lincoln against Bill Callahan’s Cornhuskers. It seemed as though Allan was destined for greatness in Manhattan. uUntil more turmoil was sent his way.After the Wildcats finished 5-6, Snyder retired following the ’05 campaign, leaving Allan in a quandary once again. Ultimately, he decided to leave Manhattan and continue his career elsewhere.Elsewhere soon became Madison.“I was [in Manhattan] for about two years,” Evridge said. “I found my wife there (Allan married Stacey Spiegelberg on Jan. 12), which is awesome, so I wouldn’t change that for anything. I had a great experience, a great bunch of guys, but then Coach Snyder retired and the rest is history. Now I’m here.”“It was a real shotgun process; it was really, really fast,” Allan continued. “I waited for a while; I tried to make things work [at Kansas State]. I didn’t really want to go, but so many [other players] had to get out of there with the new coaching staff coming in. I had about a week. I heard back from a lot of schools (including Oregon State, TCU, New Mexico and Virginia, according to his father) very quickly, Wisconsin being one of them, and I kind of knew Coach Bielema a little bit. He was the recruiting coordinator [at Kansas State] when I was coming in. So I came up here for a quick visit and it just felt right.”If only it were that simple.Because of NCAA regulations, Allan was forced to sit out the 2006 season after transferring to Wisconsin. The following spring, he found himself in a battle with senior Tyler Donovan for the Badgers’ starting quarterback position. According to head coach Bret Bielema, Allan won the starting spot that spring, but a nagging hamstring injury sidelined him. Donovan eventually earned the starting spot by default and started in all 13 of Wisconsin’s games last season, leaving Allan with a headset on the sideline.“That’s kind of been my whole life,” Allan said. “You’ve just got to adjust a little bit as things change. One thing I’ve learned growing up a military kid is that it’s not what happens, it’s how you respond. You’ve got to make the best out of these situations. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so at the end of the day, I just tried to help Tyler out and it definitely helps you grow character-wise, sitting back watching him work hard as a senior who worked hard and hung in there, so you can take all those lessons out of it.”Watching Donovan last season, Allan said, has only given him more of a chance to succeed as the Badgers’ signal caller this year.“The biggest thing I learned from Tyler was playing tough,” Allan said. “He’s a hard-nosed kid, and he kept getting knocked down but kept getting up.”Now, it’s finally his turn. Allan has just’s got one short season to lead this Wisconsin football team. But he’s gothe has his head on straight. He realizes that this might be his final season in pads after being under center for longer than he can remember.“Football is a wonderful thing, and it would be a tremendous opportunity to move on,” he said. “But realistically, I knew coming in that the chances and the statistics aren’t there for everybody, so that’s why I have my academics and really push that, and those are extremely important parts of my college career. We’re student athletes, and I definitely didn’t leave out the student part.”last_img

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