Rivals: Jack Coan ‘Might Have’ Edge In Wisconsin QB Battle, Graham Mertz ‘Could Offer’ More To The Offense

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David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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Opinions continue to be all over the place when it comes to the quarterback battle between Jack Coan and Graham Mertz for the Wisconsin Badgers.

Right now, Coan and the freshman phenom are locked into the biggest battle for the position in all of college football. Nobody seems to have any idea what is happening or who will start. Rivals seems to think it could be a coinflip at the moment, but ultimately will become the Mertz show. (RELATED: Wisconsin Coach Paul Chryst Has A ‘Pretty Good Idea’ Who Will Be The Starting QB)


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Rivals recently wrote the following about the Badgers quarterback battle:

Jack Coan might have an edge in the preseason to take over the Badgers’ starting quarterback job, but Mertz is so talented and so special that he’s going to make a run at that starting position as well. Maybe Coan gets the nod against South Florida in the opener but Mertz, who was under five-star consideration, could offer so much more to the Badgers’ offense and if there is any stumble early on from Coan then Mertz could step in right away – if not just win the job in preseason camp.

What we do know for sure at the moment is Coan took the most first team reps in the practice Monday, which was the media’s initial look at fall camp.

The junior led the way and then Chase Wolf and Mertz went next. Read into that as much as you’d like. It would certainly appear like Coan, like Rivals suggested, could have the edge right now.

Until I see something to suggest otherwise, I’ll continue to hold my stance that Mertz will not start against USF on August 30.

Yes, he’s the freshman star. Yes, he’s the face of the program. Yes, he’s the future. However, Paul Chryst is about winning right now.

That means going with the guy you’re most comfortable with and then potentially easing Mertz in. If that’s the case, then I’m fine with it.


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No matter who starts against the Bulls, I fully expect the Badgers to rock and roll. That much should be a guarantee no matter who takes the first snap.

Will it be Mertz? Will it be Coan? We’ll find out soon enough. In the meantime, we’ll continue debating.