Wisconsin Football: Alex Hornibrook Rebounds From Tough Showing


Wisconsin football freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook rebounded in a team scrimmage

After a rough practice last week, Wisconsin football redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook put together a nice practice Saturday and showed he isn’t going to roll over and let Bart Houston walk away with the Badgers starting quarterback job.

Hornibrook, who redshirted last season after flipping his commitment from Pittsburgh to Wisconsin to follow Paul Chryst from the former school to the latter, was expected to give Houston a run for his money in spring and summer ball this year.

That didn’t look like it was going to happen after an early practice this spring, when Hornibrook threw three interceptions and made some bad decisions. Last week Hornibrook had a five-interception practice during team drills.

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The quarterback didn’t let it stick with him, and rebounded for a great showing in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage.

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Playing in front of hundreds of high school coaches, small-school college coaches and players in town for the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association clinic, Hornibrook had one of his best practices of the year.

He looked strong in the pocket on the way to a 15-of-21 performance for 242 yards and two touchdowns (unofficially). He did take four sacks. Houston, meanwhile, was just 10-of-24 for 137 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while taking just one sack.

Here’s how Wisconsin State Journal reporter Jason Galloway saw the practice unfold:

"“[Hornibrook] completed 15-of-21 passes for 242 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions after finishing 6 for 8 during team drills earlier in the day."

"Hornibrook ended practice with a perfect back-shoulder throw to George Rushing that went for a 27-yard touchdown and also connected with Reggie Love for a 20-yard score on third-and-10."

"The defense did drop a potential Hornibrook interception and sacked the quarterback four times during his 10 series under center, but he showed more consistent accuracy and decision making than in previous practices.”"

It’s only one practice, and Houston still holds the upper hand in the race for the starting gig, but it’s nice to see there will still be a competition for the starting job. The two will only make each other better as they battle it out this offseason.

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With no other quarterback challenging for reps this spring, both QBs will have ample opportunity to show off for the coaches in spring practice. They will likely each see a ton of playing time in the upcoming spring game on Saturday, April 23.

Even if Hornibrook doesn’t give Houston a challenge for the starting job, it’s important that he become very familiar with the Badgers offense as he will head into summer ball the only other Badgers quarterback with any sort of experience.

Behind Houston and Hornibrook, only early enrollee freshman Kare’ Lyles is on the roster as a scholarship quarterback, and he’s out with an injury right now.

With Houston graduating in a year, the Badgers will need to develop their young guys, and Hornibrook will get the most work this offseason. Plus there’s no guarantees that Houston will stay healthy this season.

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Hornibrook is going to be a very important player for the Badgers this season, and its nice to see him heading in the right direction after a tough start.