Wisconsin Quarterback Graham Mertz Says He ‘Grew’ During Redshirt Year, Is ‘Grateful’ He Didn’t Start

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Wisconsin freshman quarterback Graham Mertz is happy he didn’t start this season for the Badgers.

The phenom gunslinger entered spring camp with all the hype in the world, but was ultimately beat out by junior Jack Coan. He’s totally okay with how it worked out, and it sounds like it was the best option on the table. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)


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Mertz recently told 247Sports the following about his redshirt year for the Badgers:

The biggest thing was owning the playbook and mastering the playbook. For me, this season has been a great opportunity to do that. I can gladly say I grew this year. The offense is a tricky offense. It’s an NFL offense. To be able to play in that offense, you need at least a year under your belt. I’m grateful they didn’t just throw me in.


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By all accounts, the quarterback competition for Wisconsin in 2020 is going to be wide open, and I’m here for that kind of action.

Wisconsin went 10-4 this past season, and lost in the Rose Bowl in horrific fashion. While 10 wins is okay, fans are expecting more.

Jack Coan is incredibly competent, but his ceiling simply isn’t as high as Mertz’s. With a year in the program under his belt, you have to think Paul Chryst will take a very hard look at giving Mertz the job next season.

We didn’t bring him in so that he could ride the bench. We brought Mertz in so that he could ball out, and lead the Badgers to conference and national titles.

He needed to learn the playbook and get some reps in during time that didn’t matter and that’s what he did this past season.


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Now, it’s time to let him get a shot at the starting job. The quarterback battle between Mertz and Coan in spring should be awesome.