Paul Chyrst ‘Impressed’ With Graham Mertz, Says Fall Camp Will Be ‘Big For Him’

(Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports - Via Reuters)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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Wisconsin football coach Paul Chryst isn’t showing his cards about the Badgers’ quarterback battle, but he certainly sounds excited with his options.

Jack Coan and Graham Mertz are currently in what’s arguably the most heated QB race in the sport. It’s not known right now who will take the first snap against South Florida, and Chryst seems intent on keeping it that way. Yet, he isn’t holding back when it comes to his praise of the freshman phenom. (RELATED: Wisconsin 2019 Football Expectations: Can The Badgers Get 10 Or More Wins?)

Chryst said the following Friday when discussing Mertz and the quarterback battle on the Big Ten Network during B1G media days:

There’s no question we need better production and more consistency at the position for us to be the best team we can be, and obviously Graham is a big recruit for us. But, I’ve been impressed with how he and the team has handled him being there, and there’s a lot that you ask out of a quarterback. So, spring, 15 practices, it was a good chance to get introduced to everything. I think he’ll do a good job of taking of what he learned in the spring and summer and looking forward to fall with him for him just being able to kind of go through it again…fall camp will be big for him.

You can watch his full comments below.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens down the stretch through August leading up to the game against the USF Bulls.

As you watched above, Chryst noted how “proud” he was of what Coan did last year in relief of Alex Hornibrook. Read into that as much as you’d like, but it’s clear the Badgers head coach really likes Mertz.

That much is obvious to anybody with ears.


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Judging from what he said to the media and then on the Big Ten Network, I think there’s a very real chance we see Mertz play sooner than later.

Again, I’m not saying that because I have some inside information or anything of that nature. Everything I’ve been told, I’ve told you all over the past few months.

It’s just hard for Chryst to hide his excitement about Mertz, and that has me believing he’ll give him every shot in camp to win the job.

In 41 days, we’ll see what unfolds on the field between my Badgers and the Bulls. I expect Coan to take the first snaps, but don’t be surprised if Mertz is thrust right into the action.

It’s not hard to see the Badgers are very excited about him. Guys with his levels of hype generally don’t sit on the bench.

Buckle up because we’re in for a fun time this season.