Considering how 2018 ended for Alex Hornibrook and the potential that Mertz has as a starting quarterback, we can only assume that these were two huge factors in his decision to transfer.
Hornibrook, who has started 32 games for the Badgers over the last three seasons while going 26-6 in those starts, informed the team of his decision on Wednesday.
Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook caught most of us off guard today when he announced that he would be transferring to play his final season of college football elsewhere.
"[Hornibrook] contributed to a lot of our recent success and we want to thank him for all he did for our program", Chryst said in a press release.
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Head Coach Paul Cryst confirmed the Senior QB's intentions in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
On the year, Hornibrook would only start nine games due to injuries and would struggle mightily. He returned as starter in 2017, throwing for 2,644 yards, 25 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, including an awesome performance - 258 yards and four touchdowns - in UW's Orange Bowl victory over Miami. A Mission, Kansas native, Mertz was the No. 3 ranked pro-style quarterback in the class of 2019, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. If that wasn't enough, Mertz further dazzled fans in the All-American Bowl, where he claimed the MVP and threw for a bowl-record five touchdown passes. Up to that point, Hornibrook showed flashes of being a top-tier Big Ten quarterback, but also had moments where he really struggled.
While backup and presumed 2019 starter Jack Coan isn't exactly Peyton Manning, he looked like a much better passer than Hornibrook was.
He is tied for third in program history in touchdown passes (47) and is fifth in passing yards (5,438). Junior Jack Coan played five games past year and passed for 515 yards and five touchdowns. He has a strong quarterback pedigree and the one clear advantage he has over Mertz is experience, which can go a long way.
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