First of all, as a Badger fan, I want to say thank you. I will not shit on Hornibrook right away. He wasn’t the most talented guy, but damn it all if he couldn’t at least get the job done. He can make throws and wherever he goes will get a smart kid who wants and knows how to win.
Hornibrook went 26-6 in his career as a Badger. He completed 60% of his passes and slung the ball around for 5,400 yards and 47 touchdowns. In his 2017 season, Hornibrook threw 25 touchdowns which was good enough for 4th in the Big Ten. It was also good enough to lead the Badgers to an undefeated regular season and Orange Bowl MVP.
Jack Coan vs. Graham Mertz
With Hornibrook leaving, that leaves two options for the Badgers Jack Coan and Graham Mertz. Both are feasible options.
Last year, Coan started 4 of the 5 games he played in. He totaled 515 yards on 60% completion percentage with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Coan stands at 6 foot 3 inches and 210 pounds, and has a little bit of sneaky athleticism. He showed that with the rushing touchdown in the Pinstripe Bowl and drubbing of Miami, again.
The former lacrosse star has enough arm to sling the ball around, but needs to get that confidence up. His IQ is high enough to make the right throws too. The flashes we’ve seen from Coan bring us back to the Scott Tolzein days. People forget Tolzein started a few games in the NFL after his long career as a Badger. Coan will be tough to dethrone.
Badger fans, get excited. Graham Mertz is going to be the future of the Badger quarterback position. Standing at the same measurements, but about 5 pounds less than Coan, As Badger fans, we’ve been asking to get a top ranked quarterback for a while now. Mertz is rated as the top pocket passer in the 2019 recruiting class according to ESPN. He also set an All-American Bowl record with 5 touchdowns. That’s what you like to see.
Shortly after the All-American Bowl appearance, Mertz was on campus enrolled early in order to be with the team for spring practice. Mertz has an incredible arm and has the ability to make plays outside the pocket. I don’t think Wisconsin fans have seen a quarterback like this in the Red and White. That’s because they know one in the Green and Gold, Aaron Rodgers. The ability and skills Mertz has put on display mimic what Rodgers does.
With Mertz enrolling early in order to be with the team, I think that’s what helps him win the starting job. Paul Chryst is a very conservative coach. So I’m very interested to see if Coan starts no matter what because he has prior experience. However, Mertz is the more talented quarterback. He threw 51 touchdowns n 47 competitive quarters of high school football last year. Granted this is the Big Ten and he’s not literally in Kansas anymore, but Mertz is the future and could set the precedent for great quarterback recruiting for years to come.