While Paul Chryst told the media earlier in fall camp that there would be no official announcement of his starting quarterback entering the season, the depth chart says it all.
Depth chart hot off the presses for the Wisconsin football team pic.twitter.com/031aVlX0eV— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) August 25, 2019
Sunday morning, the Wisconsin football program released their first depth chart of the season, and Jack Coan was listed atop the list of competitors. Coan is entering his junior season, and hopes to build upon playing in five games a year ago.
Paul Chryst is live...— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) August 25, 2019
Says that Jack Coan improved in his command of the offense, his footwork. Has a better understanding of himself, and thought the QB group as a whole had a good camp.
Apart from Coan being listed as the starter, the backup quarterback battle appears to be still in flux. Both Graham Mertz and Chase Wolf are listed behind Coan, continuing to suggest that the pair of freshman may both see time on the field this year after each showing flashes in fall camp.
Chryst on two backup quarterbacks listed: Both have gotten a lot better since spring ball. They have styles that are different. Love what they bring to the team.— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) August 25, 2019
While there were no surprises at the running back position, John Chenal appears to have secured the starting fullback job ahead of Mason Stokke. The two players have each shown the ability to be strong run blockers, but Chenal possesses the size and physicality to be a nice road paver for Jonathan Taylor.
At wide receiver, A.J. Taylor and Kendric Pryor are listed as the starters, but both Danny Davis and Quintez Cephus are listed right behind them, with all four players expected to see significant time on the field. The sight of Cephus in the two-deep is especially noteworthy given the fact that he has only been back practicing for a week.
Redshirt freshman Jack Eschenbach is listed as the second tight end behind Jake Ferguson. Eschenbach is on the lighter side weighing only 224 pounds, but he is very fast and has shown the ability to stretch the field at the position.
Along the offensive line the same group that has been working in fall camp (left to right) of Cole Van Lanen, Jason Erdmann, Tyler Biadasz, Josh Seltzner, and Logan Bruss appeared along the first team line. One caveat to the group is that Kayden Lyles was given an OR designation at both guard positions, leading the way for him to likely see time as a starter this year at some point possibly as well.
Chryst says that Kayden Lyles, Jason Erdmann, Josh Seltzner all have earned the right to play. With Lyles being listed as an OR at both positions, he will get his chance for game reps.— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) August 25, 2019
On the defensive side of the ball, a healthy group of Isaiahh Loudermilk, Bryson Williams and Garrett Rand along the starting defensive line should pay dividends this season. Having a player like Matt Henningsen, who started seven games a season ago, as a reserve should help bolster the depth to a group who was hit hard with injuries last season. True freshman Keeanu Benton is listed as the backup nose tackle, and was brought up by Paul Chryst as a player who has done some nice things in fall camp during his press conference.
Chryst on the defense: Called out Green-May, Sanborn, Leo Chenal as players who have shown the ability in practice. Now need to see them do it live in games against an opponent.— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) August 25, 2019
As expected Izayah Green-May earned the spot opposite Zack Baun at outside linebacker after a strong fall camp. Behind them are a pair of veterans, Tyler Johnson and Noah Burks. On the inside Chris Orr and Jack Sanborn are indeed the starters, with Leo Chenal making his way into the two deep as a true freshman.
Faion Hicks is now back to full health after missing some time during fall camp, and he is penciled in with Deron Harrell as the starting cornerback pairing. Behind them Caesar Williams and Rachad Wildgoose are listed, but both players will most likely see the field this season. Wildgoose spent most of the time as the nickel corner in fall camp, making him the most likely candidate to see the field in that role come South Florida.
Lastly in special teams sophomore Collin Larsh took ahold of field goal duties late in fall camp, and will open up as the primary kicker. I would not be surprised if Zach Hintze, the main kickoff contributor, is called upon for long field goals though with his strong leg.