Jack Coan is the starter for the Wisconsin football team, but what does it look like behind him?
Wisconsin football has its depth chart pretty much locked up and decided. Jack Coan won the job last year over Graham Mertz, who a lot of Badger fans wanted to see play as soon as possible. Many thought Coan would lose the job part-way through the year, but he played extremely well all season, allowing Mertz to redshirt and keep a year of eligibility. Also on the roster is Chase Wolf, Danny Vanden Boom, and Daniel Wright.
Projected depth chart: Jack Coan Sr., Graham Mertz RS Fr., Chase Wolf RS So., Danny Vanden Boom RS Jr., Daniel Wright Fr.
Last year, Coan threw for 2,727 yards and 18 touchdowns and only five interceptions while completing 69.6% of passes, leading the Badgers to a 10-4 record and an appearance in the Rose Bowl. According to PFF, Coan jumped from a 41.4 grade in 2018 to a 78.5 grade in 2019, which was 27th-best in the country and 5th in the Big Ten.
"Coan had an impressive breakout year in 2019. He went from a 41.4 PFF grade on a limited sample in 2018 to a grade of 78.5 in 2019, the sixth-best PFF grade among Big Ten quarterbacks. He could look to improve his deep ball, as he tended to force deep throws into tight coverage (seven turnover-worthy plays to his first read on deep balls last season, third-most in FBS). That said, you have to love the way he performed in the difficult Wisconsin offense."
Wisconsin football is in good hands with Coan, but things will get a little harder for Coan. He will be entering the 2020 season without Jonathan Taylor in the backfield and his top receiving target, Quintez Cephus. He will have his work cut out for him this season, but if he continues to improve like he did last year, the quarterback position should not be an issue for Wisconsin.
Mertz is highly regarded as the future of Wisconsin football. When Wisconsin offered Mertz, he was still a relatively unknown prospect. Then he blew up and became a hot commodity for a lot of programs. Wisconsin ended up reeling him in and a lot of Wisconsin fans were absolutely pumped. Wisconsin’s future was secure.
As previously stated, many thought Mertz would have a good chance at starting at some point in the 2019 season. Coan was still unproven, after taking over for longtime starter, Alex Hornibrook, and fans weren’t quite sure what they had in Coan.
Mertz ended up redshirting last year, giving him another year of eligibility. Now, with the goofy season, the NCAA has essentially given every player a free year of eligibility, so even after this season, Mertz could still be considered a freshman when he takes over, assuming this is Coan’s final season.
While Mertz waits for his turn, he will be able to practice and become even more of an expert in this Wisconsin offense so when his time comes he will be able to hit the ground running.
Chase Wolf came to Wisconsin as a part of the 2018 recruiting class. Before Graham Mertz, I thought Wolf would be the future quarterback for Wisconsin football. He was a 3-star prospect out of Cincinnati, Ohio.
He joined Mertz as a backup for Coan in the 2019 season. He appeared in one game and completed 1-of-1 passes for two yards. He also added a rush for nine yards. Wolf will likely compete for the starting job after this season when Coan leaves, but it would be hard to imagine he would beat out Mertz.
Danny Vanden Boom
Danny Vanden Boom came to Wisconsin as a walk-on. He previously had a very successful high school career with Kimberly, where he won back-to-back state titles in Wisconsin and had a 28-0 record while he was a starter.
Vanden Boom appeared in three games in 2018. He completed one pass for 3 yards and a touchdown against New Mexico in a 45-14 win.
Wright joined the 2020 class as a walk-on just a few days before signing day. He is from Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, where he threw for more than 7,000 yards and 78 touchdowns in his high school career. Wisconsin flipped Wright from a commitment to DII Sioux Falls.
It really feels like this group at the quarterback position is the strongest it has been for a long time, possibly since 2011 when they had Russell Wilson, Joel Stave, Jon Budmayr, Nate Tice, Curt Phillips, and Joe Brennan. The Badgers are in good hands for the foreseeable future at the quarterback position.