Graham Mertz seemingly gave his endorsement for Jim Leonhard to receive the full-time head coaching gig at Wisconsin after the Week 8 win over Purdue.

Mertz, speaking after the game, said his coach has “hit the ground running and kept everybody in the ship,” and also says Leonhard “is ready” for a challenge.

After a 9-year NFL career, Leonhard transitioned to coaching. Leonhard has been a member of the Wisconsin coaching staff since being hired on as defensive backs coach for the 2016 season. From 2017-2022, Leonhard also carried the defensive coordinator role.

Leonhard, a Wisconsin native, and alumnus assumed the interim head coach role on October 2, after previous HC Paul Chryst was relieved of his duties after a disappointing start to the season.

Leonhard has yet to be a head coach at any level, but he is 2-1 as the interim. Certainly, an endorsement from the team’s QB is an encouraging sign for Leonhard’s prospects.