Wisconsin is coasting against Florida Atlantic, so starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook has been relegated to the bench.
Get to know Jack Coan, Wisconsin’s backup QB:
His recruiting rating was pretty good
Coan was the No. 20 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2017, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. For perspective, Hornibrook was No. 41. Coan was New York’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior and committed to Wisconsin in March.
Schools first noticed Jack Coan as a lacrosse player
Coan hails from Sayville, N.Y., which is known more for its lacrosse than for football. So it makes sense that Coan didn’t jump out to scouts after his freshman year. Maryland and Rutgers expressed interest early, but it wasn’t until Miami got involved that other programs started to notice. A big performance at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge helped him gain national prominence, too.
“He’s throwing some pretty good balls out here,” Rivals’ Adam Friedman said of Coan. “He’s shown good arm strength; he’s shown pretty good accuracy. He hasn’t been fazed by the big-time environment.”
Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst wasn’t planning on redshirting him
“Never have I gone a year where you’re not using multiple players at different positions,” Badgers coach Paul Chryst said. “I think if a guy’s ready to play, they need to be ready, and I think Jack is.”
Coan did not throw a pass during Wisconsin’s win over Utah State.
Land of 10’s Jesse Temple had more on this in his weekly mailbag:
In an ideal world, it would’ve been great for Wisconsin if Coan used his redshirt season and spent the entire year improving on the practice squad. Certainly, redshirt freshman Kare Lyles could have been the mop-up duty specialist. But Chryst believes Coan can help the team. And if Coan needs to do so this season, it’s better to have him play.
He’ll still have an opportunity to redshirt another season if the Badgers add more depth at quarterback. And that could be the smart play so Coan can be the starting quarterback for two full seasons after Hornibrook leaves Wisconsin.
Jack Coan won the backup quarterback job in camp after enrolling early
Coan came in and established himself fairly quickly. He enrolled for the spring semester, and when late August rolled around, Coan was Wisconsin’s No. 2 quarterback. He beat out Lyles to claim the job.
“If he wasn’t here in the spring, it would have been really difficult,” offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said. “He is doing a lot different being under center and learning it all. We saw it in him with the type of approach he has and the worker that he is. We believed in that along with the talent he has.”
His head coach has a good track record with quarterbacks
Chryst coached Russell Wilson in his final season as Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator, oversaw Colts QB Scott Tolzien at Wisconsin and Texans QB Tom Savage while serving as head coach at Pitt. Those last two were quintessential “game managers” in college, but Chryst helped get them to the NFL.