Wisconsin Football’s prized quarterback recruit had a dominant performance at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Saturday.
The legend of Graham Mertz continues to grow.
The latest chapter in the saga of arguably the most-hyped recruit in Wisconsin history was written yesterday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, an annual showcase of the nation’s top senior high school football players. Mertz and 5-star offensive tackle signee Logan Brown represented Wisconsin’s touted 2019 recruiting class at the event.
Brown, who started at left tackle for the West squad, played relatively well, but it was the jaw-dropping display Mertz put on that was the story of the game and caused Badgers fans everywhere to lose their minds. It was cool enough to see him get the start under center for the East, but it’s safe to say no one expected the historic performance that was to come.
By the time the game was over, Mertz had broken the previous All-American Bowl records for passing yards and touchdown passes, going 7-14 with 188 yards and a whopping five scores while leading his team to a resounding 48-14 victory.
In fact, Mertz had the touchdown pass record in the bag by halftime. The previous record had been set at two, but Wisconsin’s signal caller of the future threw for three scores in the first half alone, including this gem.
In a surprise to no one, Mertz was named the MVP of the game for his efforts. As you would expect, his legendary performance had Badger Nation going absolutely bananas on Twitter.
A few of Mertz’s future teammates got in on the fun.
As did Badger legends Melvin Gordon, Brian Calhoun, and Zak Showalter.
Even the potential 2018-19 NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, was impressed by what he saw from Mertz.
Indeed, Mertz couldn’t have asked for a better finale to his high school football career. An early enrollee, he will be arriving in Madison next week to begin his journey at Wisconsin, and you have to imagine his confidence will be at peak levels after his incredible performance yesterday.
At first, while I still obviously believed his long-term future was incredibly bright at Wisconsin given his talent, I was skeptical that Mertz could come in and seize the starting job from Alex Hornibrook and Jack Coan next season as true freshman. However, given the performances of Coan and Hornibrook this year and the hype around Mertz that only continues to grow, I’m definitely coming around to the possibility. At this point, I think there’s a very real chance that he can come out on top of this impending quarterback competition.
Brian Calhoun hit the nail on the head with his tweet above. Mertz’s talent and potential is obvious, but let’s be honest, the pressure that he will be, and already is, under from Badger Nation is enormous. Many kids would buckle under that burden, but the more I see from Mertz, the better I feel about his ability to live up to those lofty expectations. It has become clear that he is an incredibly positive and confident person who has no problem embracing the hype and shining when the lights are the brightest. Even more than his arm or his accuracy, that is the trait that will make him great in Madison.