As the Badgers begin fall practices on Thursday, one of the biggest questions surrounding Wisconsin football – as it has been the last few years – is who will start at quarterback? The two likely suspects, veteran Jack Coan and freshman Graham Mertz, aren’t much into much of the battle aspect of it. But, they love to compete.
“I feel like sometimes it turns into a ‘battle’,” said freshman QB Graham Mertz at Wisconsin football media day on Wednesday. “But I feel like right now we’re all kind of… it’s more of a competition. I don’t really like the term ‘battle’. But competition brings out the best in people.”
“That’s the way it is with the quarterback position,” said junior QB Jack Coan, also at media day. “You’re always going to have that. So, it’s all good. I just feel like my experience these last two years has been huge. Sitting under Alex [Hornibrook] and getting my own playing experience. And just listening to [QB coach Jon] Budmayr, what he has to say about everything and Coach [Paul] Chryst. I think that’s really helped me a lot.”
Coan has played in 11 games with 4 starts at quarterback, completing more than 62% tossing 5 touchdowns. Mertz says that since he joined the Badgers in the spring, Coan has helped him learn.
“Whenever I have a question during practice, a quick one, I can just ask [Jack] real quick and he’ll shoot it right out,” said Mertz. “And that’s with everyone else. So we have that bond and we have that thing where we can just quickly ask each other instead of just like bugging a coach in the middle of a play or something.”
Badger football fall practices officially kick off Thursday morning at 10:30am. Kickoff to the season is on August 30th at South Florida.