Wisconsin quarterback pledge Graham Mertz holds an offer from Georgia. He visited Athens late last month while in the area for The Opening Atlanta regional. Mertz kept his eyes on quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Justin Fields that day.
What did the nation’s No. 10 pro-style prospect on the 247Sports composite see? Well, he relished the chance to watch those elite passers work in a college practice setting.
What did one quarterback target pick up from Jake Fromm (above) and Justin Fields and their respective practice habits? (Nate Gettleman/DawgNation)
“The main thing is I wanted to see how Fromm and Fields went after it,” said Mertz, who attends Blue Valley North High School in Mission, Kan. “Because I just love watching football, and I thought it would be a cool experience, and it was a cool experience.”
He labeled it an “awesome” moment. What stood out to Mertz?
“Fromm knows what he is doing, and he commands it,” Mertz said. “He’s the type of guy who will get up in a receiver’s face and be like, ‘Why didn’t you catch the ball’ and ‘Catch it every time,’ and Fields is more the guy where he like slaps you on the butt and will say, ‘OK, let’s get the next one.’ So kind of two different guys, but they can really sling the ball. It is crazy.”
Graham Mertz on his recruiting process
Mertz committed to Wisconsin in October when he had just three college offers. He’s still committed but stated he will listen to other schools.
“I’ll hear what coaches have to say,” Mertz said. “How they interact on the phone is a good indicator of how they are as a person and how much they are really invested in you. That’s what I use to gauge that decision.”
When he goes to look at other options, he calls it “backing up his decision.”
He was impressed by the Badgers from the first phone call and was quickly invited to a game. He said coach Paul Chryst gave him about an hour of one-on-one time on a game day.
That stood out, along with Wisconsin’s academic reputation. Mertz said some schools still recruit him at varying degrees of intensity.
“There are some schools that contact you just like crazy every day and there are some that are like, ‘We want to give you your space,’ and it will be like once a week. Ole Miss is really coming hard and then Texas A&M and LSU, Alabama and Georgia. Those are the main ones right now.”
Mertz sees Jake Fromm-Justin Fields battles as typical
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect ran a 4.32-second shuttle at The Opening regional during combine testing. He’s been timed as fast as 4.21 seconds at another official Sparq testing session.
While Mertz pays attention to depth charts, he said he knows he will have to fight for every rep in college.
“Competition is the main thing in building up a quarterback in college,” Mertz said. “If that means not starting for two years and just growing for two years, then that’s what you have got to do. You gotta accept it and get after it. It is a grind to get to the top.”
Where does Mertz rank among the baker’s dozen of 2019 quarterback offers for the Bulldogs? DawgNation broke down those guys several weeks ago.
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Mertz led his Blue Valley North squad to a 9-4 mark and an unlikely state championship based on that won-loss record as a junior.
Mertz completed 62 percent of his 434 passes for 3,684 yards, 45 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.