Wilson's importance to Badgers grows

Wisconsin's pickup of NC State transfer Russell Wilson this summer looked like a great move at the time. Now, it looks like it might have been a season saver.

That's because Jon Budmayr, who was in line to start at quarterback following spring ball, is having potentially serious problems with his right elbow. Budmayr has not thrown a pass in more than week, and coach Bret Bielema told reporters Wednesday night that the sophomore recently saw a nerve specialist about the issue.

"We're in a wait-and-see mode right now," Bielema said. "Probably Monday or Tuesday of next week there are some things they are going to test out. It's one of those things that until that feeling gets back in his arm he can't throw."

Budmayr experienced similar elbow problems in 2009 and underwent surgery that sidelined him for two months. So it's troubling that the problem has cropped up again.

Without Budmayr, redshirt freshman Joe Brennan has been elevated to the No. 2 quarterback. While Brennan has showed some nice things in camp, the Badgers wouldn't be picked as a Big Ten favorite with a rookie quarterback. Wisconsin also has increased the reps of true freshman walk-on Joel Stave, who may have to be ready as the third-string QB.

For right now, Badgers fans should say thank goodness for Russell Wilson.