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  Once it was over, Graham Mertz took time to reflect after his first college football season as a starter. It hadn't gone how he wanted - after a record-setting starting debut in which he threw five touchdown passes, challenges started to pile up for the sophomore. He contracted COVID-19, testing positive the day after the Illinois game as part of an outbreak that derailed the University of Wisconsin's season for nearly three weeks. He struggled as his timing and accuracy were sporadic over the final six games of the year and UW finished 4-3. Mertz said as he evaluated the season, he looked inward first, asking himself how he needed to get better in each aspect of his game. He also took stock of how he needed to improve his approach off the field. "I took a couple of days just to kind of take that approach. 'How can I be the best Graham during the season?'" Mertz said Friday. When Mertz did begin studying tape, he broke his play down into particular elements and spent days watching each snap with an eye on that component. From his drop-backs to his understanding of scheme and recognition of defenses, Mertz took note of the strides he needed to make. He didn't specify when it happened, but Mertz also sustained a shoulder injury and had to get a cortisone shot one week. He rejected the idea that it was an explanation for his struggles. "I'm not one to sit here and make excuses for how I played, and having a little banged up shoulder doesn't justify losing three games (in a row) and playing like that," he said. "So I'm not going to sit here and make that an excuse, because it's not." - Wisconsin State Journal

(DS#4 QB) rSo/2024 QB Graham MertzWisconsin
News Source: Wisconsin State Journal


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