When former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams first entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, there was plenty of interest from a number of schools. Wisconsin was one rumored to be in the mix to land the skilled gunslinger, despite having two-year starter Graham Mertz on the roster.

In an era when players can transfer at any given moment for any reason at all, the Badgers’ interest in bringing in another quarterback might’ve run Mertz out of Madison. That’s not how he views the situation, though.

“It’s the coach’s job to find the best player,” Mertz said. per Zach Heilprin of The Zone. “What am I gonna say? ‘Oh, I deserve this.’ I don’t deserve anything. I’ve got to prove it every day, prove it’s my job. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’ve always done.”

Mertz endured some serious struggles during Wisconsin’s 2021 season. He ended the year with 1,958 yards and 10 touchdowns but also threw 11 interceptions and had a completion rate below 60%.

The emergence of Braelon Allen at running back helped get Wisconsin’s offense on track but the passing game still needs work. Last year’s struggles were undoubtedly why the Badgers had some interest in Williams.

If Mertz can become a more consistent passer, Wisconsin can find itself back in the hunt for a B1G title in no time.