The Badgers may see Jack Coan on the football field quite soon.
Coan, a former University of Wisconsin quarterback, announced Monday night he will be transferring to Notre Dame.
“Extremely thankful for the opportunity. Let’s get to work!” Coan wrote on Twitter. It was Coan’s first tweet since June 2017.
The Badgers are scheduled to face Notre Dame next season on Sept. 25 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Coan is a graduate transfer from UW, so he will be eligible to play for the Fighting Irish next season. Notre Dame’s year ended in the College Football Playoff semifinals with a 31-14 loss to No. 1 Alabama in the Rose Bowl.
Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book was a graduate student this year and he’s been the starter since 2018. Assuming Book is moving onto the NFL, the Fighting Irish had five other quarterbacks on their roster and two incoming freshmen at the position, but none are proven.
The Irish's returning scholarship quarterbacks are Brendon Clark and Drew Pyne, though Clark was dealing with a knee injury during the latter part of this season. Notre Dame's recruiting class includes quarterbacks Tyler Buchner and Ron Powlus III, the son of former Irish quarterback and current associate athletic director Ron Powlus.
Buchner is rated as the nation's No. 3 dual-threat quarterback and No. 65 overall prospect in his class according to composite rankings compiled by 247Sports.
Coan broke his foot in UW’s training camp and did not play this year. Coan was a highly touted lacrosse prospect out of high school and committed to Notre Dame before choosing to play football.
Coan played in 25 games in his UW career, including 18 starts. The Badgers went 12-6 in his starts, including 10-4 last season. Coan passed for 3,278 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his career. He had 297 completions on 437 attempts (67.96%) over his three seasons and averaged 7.5 yards per pass. His 236 completions last season set a program record. Coan also rushed for five touchdowns.
The reason for his transfer has not been publicly discussed and a message sent to his father was not returned.
Redshirt freshman Graham Mertz started all seven games for UW (4-3) this season.
“I think it was certainly the teammates that he was with, he’s had a positive impact on them,” UW coach Paul Chryst said when asked about Coan’s impact on the team.
“Certainly point to a lot of games where he played and helped this team win games and some big games. Probably a lot of little different components to what his mark was. But you know what was pretty neat — and a lot of guys have this opportunity and Jack certainly has done this and many have — but the fact that they did leave a mark, they did leave a lasting impression. I think that’s something to be proud of.”
Coan’s only public statement since announcing he was transferring expressed gratitude to UW.
"Thank you Wisconsin for the greatest 4 years of my life," Coan wrote in a social media post. "Being at Wisconsin has been the experience of a lifetime that I will cherish forever. Thank you to my teammates, coaches, athletic trainers, and support staff who have helped me in my time here.
"I have officially decided to enter the transfer portal. While this decision was not easy, I know it's the right one for my family and I. Thank you for everything Wisconsin! I'll love you forever!"
Breaking down the Badgers' 2021 recruiting class
Number of players: 1
Who are they: Deacon Hill (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Quick analysis: Hill has a strong arm and shown enough in camps to rise to a four-star recruit on Rivals. Competition level is a question mark at the high school level, but he’s got the tools to be a good college quarterback.
Rudolph’s thoughts on Hill: Quarterbacks coach Jon Budmayr “identified him really early. We thought he had great arm strength when you compared him to the best players in the country who were out there. We thought he was right there from the jump. … We really liked him, we felt personality-wise the people that surrounded him and supported him, how he worked, all those things were a great fit for us.”
Number of players: 3
Who are they: Jackson Acker (Madison), Loyal Crawford (Eau Claire), Antwan Roberts (Nashville, Tenn.)
Quick analysis: There’s been talk about Acker switching positions at the college level, but UW listed him as a running back Wednesday. Acker didn’t play in the fall due to COVID-19, but he has shown a good mix of speed and power as a ball carrier. … Crawford has a James White-level ceiling as a third-down back and the most shiftiness of the bunch. … Roberts has explosion and proven ability to run through tackles.
Rudolph’s thoughts on the group: “I think they’re all kind of unique. Jackson’s a guy that obviously would have position flexibility, but he kind of is explosive. … Then you see Loyal, and Loyal’s got great speed, great change of direction, a chance for a home run hitter. I think he’s got great quicks in and out and, again, I think all these guys, we’ll find out exactly where they’re at when they come in, but I think guys that are just really good football players as well. … Antwan, what he does to this point, complete back and had a great senior year.”
Number of players: 2
Who are they: Skyler Bell (Bronx, N.Y.), Markus Allen (Clayton, Ohio, expected to sign Wednesday evening)
Quick analysis: The Badgers landed two players who possess good speed and agility at arguably the biggest position of need in the class. … Bell has a suddenness to his cuts that makes him dangerous as a receiver and returner. … Allen shows good ball skills when making contested catches and great body control.
Rudolph’s thoughts on Bell, who wasn’t able to visit campus before committing: “I just think you take the time to reach out. Whether it was Zoom meetings with him and his family, or whether it was phone calls, you took the time to be able to answer questions that pop up in their minds. I think those things are always huge.”
Number of players: 1
Who are they: Jack Pugh (Columbus, Ohio)
Quick analysis: He has long strides that help him cover a lot of ground and he’s shown an array of route-running skills from both an on-line and split-out positions.
Rudolph’s thoughts on Pugh: “Jack played his first year of football last year. This was his second year. Really a guy that was a hoop player that jumped into it. Watching his film, I thought he was really physical for a guy that hadn’t played football. He was physical at D-end as well as tight end. I think he’s got the ability to separate. I think he’s got really a lot of speed and explosiveness.”
Number of players: 3
Who are they: JP Benzschawel (Grafton), Riley Mahlman (Lakeville, Minn.), Nolan Rucci (Lititz, Pa.)
Quick analysis: The Badgers are set up to continue churning out great O-lines for years to come after an impressive haul of linemen in 2019. … Benzschawel is the third of his brothers to come to UW, and he’s shown great power and strength as a blocker. … Mahlman might be the most athletic of the bunch, having played tight end for a time in high school and as a basketball standout. … Rucci, the lone five-star recruit in the class, has all the tools to become an All-American tackle.
Rudolph’s thoughts on the group: “I think they’re big, athletic guys that you have to have as defenses are pretty darn athletic and being able to keep up with them. … I think those guys match in their work ethic and their mind-set, I think they’ll make a major impact here.”