Graham Mertz heads to Madison this month as a midyear enrollee, but he left quite the impression inside the Alamodome before his Badgers days begin.
Mertz claimed MVP honors and threw a bowl game record five touchdown passes against some of the best high school seniors in the nation in the 2019 All-American Bowl on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.
The big day from the Wisconsin Badgers four-star quarterback signee helped the East squad defeat future teammate Logan Brown and the West in a 48-14 win.
As seen during the NBC broadcast, Mertz completed 7-of-14 passes for 188 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He initially broke the All-American Bowl records for passing yards and touchdown passes, the latter of which he clinched in the first half alone.
Though it was noted on the telecast, Oklahoma signee Spencer Rattler actually overtook Mertz in one of them—setting the single-game record for passing yards by throwing for 234.
Here are all the touchdown highlights from Mertz’s big day:
Catching up. Here’s the first Mertz touchdown. Remember you can watch the action live on NBC: pic.twitter.com/fyNKiUzSQp— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKocoB5Q) January 5, 2019
Here’s Mertz’s third touchdown pass of the first half for the East squad. Again you can watch live on NBC: pic.twitter.com/sH2uVGyIit— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKocoB5Q) January 5, 2019
In fact, one current NFL MVP candidate, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tweeted some words of praise for Mertz.
@GrahamMertz5 with 5tds in the army all American game.! Not bad at all!— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes5) January 5, 2019
Future teammate, wide receiver Kendric Pryor, Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin’s official Twitter account and others also chimed in as well.
A Badger balling on the big stage— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) January 5, 2019
Congrats to Graham Mertz on winning All-American Bowl MVP, throwing for a record five touchdown passes and also breaking the game’s yards record
( via @19AllAmerican)#OnWisconsin // #Badgers pic.twitter.com/kKCdyOoXet
I see qb signee Graham Mertz is balling, but what I love the most...his swag & moxy! Welcome to Wisconsin! #OnWisconsin— BCal (@brian_calhoun2) January 5, 2019
Mertz told B5Q in December that he was ready for the All-American Bowl.
“That was a thing since first grade, second grade. I’ve always been watching that game every year,” Mertz said. “It was crazy when I got the call this year, and it was definitely flattering and I can’t wait for it. It’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll be able to have forever, which I can’t wait for.”
Update, Jan. 6: While Mertz may have initially broken the passing yards record, the All-American Bowl tweeted late Saturday night that Oklahoma signee Spencer Rattler broke it late in the game—throwing for 234 yards.