Monday morning, Head Coach Paul Chryst confirmed that starting quarterback Jack Coan will be out indefinitely with a non-contact foot injury sustained on a routine drop-back pass in practice. His timetable to return is to be determined, but it’s expected that the senior will miss at least the first few games of the season. In the absence of the University of Wisconsin’s senior signal-caller, here’s who will need to step up.
Football: UW senior quarterback Jack Coan out indefinitely after suffering injury to foot in practiceSunday morning the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel confirmed the rumors that senior quarterback Jack Coan suffered a foot injury during practice Read…
Redshirt freshman quarterback Graham Mertz
Mertz only appeared in two games in 2019 at the tail end of blowout wins against Central Michigan and Kent State, but this highest-rated quarterback recruit in Badger football history is next up on the depth chart for the Badgers. Mertz will have limited time to build a repertoire with receivers who have become extremely familiar with Coan’s style and timing. Finding out how he can best utilize his pinpoint deep ball passing and pocket presence should be a priority for the Kansas native. He has galactic potential and is presented with an opportunity to gain precious experience before the 2021 season.
Senior running back Garrett Groshek
Groshek becomes the leader in the backfield in the absence of Coan. The fifth-year senior will be part of a running back-by-committee approach, but his experience with Chryst and Offensive Coordinator Joe Rudolph’s system will be important to guide Mertz in the right direction. Groshek’s knack for catching passes out of the backfield will be a crucial tool for Mertz to lean on. Groshek was the third leading receiver for the Badgers in 2019 in terms of both yardage and receptions.
Head Coach Paul Chryst and Offensive Coordinator Joe Rudolph
Building a championship program starts at the top. Chryst and Rudolph will have their hands full preparing a quarterback with virtually no collegiate experience for the Big Ten. The first game of the season comes against the team that gave UW it’s first loss of the 2019 season, against Illinois at Memorial Stadium. Redshirt sophomore running back Nakia Watson made headlines after telling reporters last Thursday via Zoom that “Illinois definitely deserves a butt-whooping.” To take down the Illini, the responsibility of making sure that Mertz is in a position to do just that falls on the coaching staff.