Long Island, NY doesn’t have a history of developing top-tier Division I football talent.
Incoming Badgers quarterback Jack Coan came out of nowhere and had many Wisconsinites curious. Coan attended Sayville High School and was also a talented lacrosse player, nearly taking his lacrosse talents to Notre Dame.
Long Island is a hotbed for developing college lacrosse players, so naturally Coan grew up playing the game popular in the region. Coan committed to play lacrosse at Notre Dame after his freshman year of high school. Coan’s high school football coach, Rob Hoss, had other ideas. He began reaching out to college programs across the nation, sending Coan’s highlights along the way. Eventually, colleges came knocking and Coan found himself with options on the table.
Coan received offers from colleges all across the nation, crossing division lines. Notably, Coan received offers from schools closer to home like Boston College, the University of Connecticut, and Syracuse. Out of all the schools that Coan received offers from, Michigan and Wisconsin were the two that stuck out most. The quarterback also garnered interest from rival Big Ten schools, like Nebraska and Northwestern.
According to MaxPreps.com, Coan absolutely dominated the Long Island circuit. In his senior year, Coan recorded 11 touchdowns, 53 completions and 744 total yards leading Sayville High School to the Suffolk County Championship Game. Despite losing the championship, Coan threw for two touchdowns and ran for 108 yards in a loss against East Islip.
Locals in Sayville thought it was a done deal when Coan received an offer from Jim Harbaugh and Michigan. It wasn’t until Coan visited Wisconsin that he realized this was where he would play football at the next level.
“A lot of people were surprised, especially from where I am, not a lot of people know about Wisconsin,” Coan told the media on National Signing Day. “Coming up here I didn’t even know a lot about Wisconsin. I was like, Wisconsin? Isn’t that just corn fields?”
Coan signed on with the Badgers last March and has recently enrolled in school to participate in Spring workouts. He joins six other recruits who have enrolled for the Spring semester, including four-star talent Kayden Lyles. ESPN has Coan listed at 6’3” and a three-star recruit.
“The coaching staff, the academics, this place is the whole package and it’s got everything you want in a college,” Coan said.
In order to get accustomed to playing football in college, last summer Coan had the opportunity to train with former New York Giants QB Phil Simms, with whom he was introduced to by a friend.
Coan will face stern competition for playing time this fall, as most freshman quarterbacks do. With Alex Hornibrook returning and Karé Lyles back after an injury plagued his freshman year, things won’t be easy. Things also would become dicey if Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire takes his talents to Madison. Still, Coan should still have a chance to compete for the starting position.