When Jim Harbaugh came back to his Alma mater to take over as head coach, the Wolverines returned the nucleus for a great defense. They had a lot of the same ingredients for a good offense, except for maybe at Quarterback.
2014 starter Devin Gardner used up his eligibility. His back up was Shane Morris, but he didn’t play very well, either. The entire Michigan offense played poorly in 2014.
That all changed when Harbaugh took over. Iowa graduate transfer Jake Rudock won the starting job and after an early struggle, he had a really good season.
But, now, Rudock is gone and it’s starting over again for Harbaugh and his coaching staff.
The winner will probably be Wilton Speight or John O’Korn.
Speight is the biggest Quarterback at 6-6, 240. But, when he got the chance to play in 2015, he only hit 36% of his passes and that’s going to have to drastically improve.
In spite of being a big Quarterback, Speight is surprisingly mobile and athletic.
O’Korn was a 3 star recruit in the 2013 class that signed with the Houston Cougars out of Fort Lauderdale St Thomas Aquinas High School. ESPN had him rated as the 38th Pocket Passer in the country. He came in as a true freshman and threw for an impressive 3,117 yards and 28 Touchdowns. But, in spite of his early success, Houston replaced him with the more athletic Greg Ward Jr.. O’Korn threw for 951 yards in 2014, but he opted to transfer for more playing time.
O’Korn decided on Michigan, but he had to sit out the 2015 season because of transfer rules.
Some believe he is the favorite to win the starting job.
In 2014, backing up Devin Gardner, Shane Morris threw for 128 yards and 3 Interceptions. In 2 seasons as a back up, Morris has 5 Interceptions and he has yet to throw a Touchdown pass. During his freshman season of 2013, Morris completed over 61% of his passes which were good for 261
yards. But, in 2014, he only completed 35% of his passes.
During the 2015 season, the coaches and maybe Morris decided it might be a good time to redshirt.
Alex Malzone signed with Michigan with the 2015 recruiting class. He committed to the previous coaching staff and coach Brady Hoke. When Hoke was fired and Jim Harbaugh brought aboard, Malzone stuck with Michigan in spite of the new staff adding Quarterback Zach Gentry. The 6-7 Gentry has since moved to Tight End, but Malzone is still at Quarterback and plugging along. He got himself into some trouble off the field, but he’s still got an outside shot at playing some Quarterback down the road.
In the 2016 recruiting class, the Wolverines signed Brandon Peters from Avon, Indiana. Peters was rated 3rd in his class as a drop back passer and I believe he’s as good as anyone out there. Peters
I saw Peters and his Avon, Indiana team play against Brownsburg, Indiana and their top Quarterback Hunter Johnson. At the time, Johnson was committed to Tennessee, but he has switched to Clemson since then.
Peters is a superior athlete that has a great arm and is a surprising runner. Obviously, he is a true freshman this season but he’s going to be tough to keep off the field either this year or the next.
The rich get richer and the Wolverines have the top Quarterback in the country committed for the 2017 class. Dylan McCaffrey, from Valor Christian High School outside of Denver has given Jim Harbaugh his word that he is coming to Ann Arbor to play his college football.
He is the third of four boys in the famous McCaffrey family that I have written about many times on this blog. McCaffrey
ESPN has McCaffrey as their top rated drop back passer, but being part of the McCaffrey family there’s no way that he is not really fast.