Will Jack Coan or Graham Mertz start at quarterback for the Wisconsin Badgers in 2019?
This is the question that has consumed Wisconsin sports for the past several months, and I’m honestly not sure we’re any closer to an answer. (RELATED: Graham Mertz Leads Only Touchdown Drive During Wisconsin Practice, Addresses The Media Afterwards)
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Coan and Mertz both reportedly played at a very high level in spring practice. That’s a good problem to have. For the practices open to the media, Coan took the vast majority of first team reps and the young freshman gunslinger was notable for leading plenty of touchdown drives.
So, where does that leave the Wisconsin faithful? Honestly, I have no idea, but it really does look like it’s now officially a two man race heading into August.
We open up the season August 30 against South Florida. Reps in practice are going to get get substantially shaved down going forward. My best guess is Coan and Mertz will dominate all the reps in August, and Chase Wolf might get a little cleanup duty. (RELATED: Paul Chryst Won’t Give Any Clues To Who Will Be Wisconsin’s Starting Quarterback)
I know I’ve been preaching a ton about the talented freshman phenom, but it looks like Coan has done more than enough as of right now to hold onto the top spot for as long as he can.
Mertz is the future in Madison, but we’re only better as a team the longer Coan plays at a high level. I’d rather have two great quarterbacks than just one.
Here’s my prediction right now. Coan takes the first snap against South Florida, but Mertz will play. I think it’s going to be a very similar situation to the one Clemson found themselves in this past season. Kelly Bryant started the first few games as Trevor Lawrence was eased in, and then the young freshman took over.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that’s what the Badgers did. Coan gets some starts, and then Mertz slowly takes the job.
Either way, I absolutely believe the starting quarterback job will be Mertz’s when it’s all said and done, but I’m optimistic with the fact Coan is playing well to push him off for now.