During an appearance at the M Club of Ann Arbor on Monday, Jim Harbaugh confirmed that Shea Patterson will be Michigan’s starting quarterback this season.
The Wolverines open up on the road in South Bend to face Notre Dame on Sept. 1.
Patterson put up big numbers at Ole Miss
Patterson threw for a lot of yards (3,139) at Ole Miss, but also threw a lot of interceptions (12) in 10 starts over two seasons at Ole Miss. In seven games in 2017, he put up huge numbers — 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns — before going down with a season-ending knee injury. Patterson was initially going to redshirt the 2016 season, but he had his redshirt removed and started the team’s final three games after Chad Kelly was injured.
After Wilton Speight transferred to UCLA, Brandon Peters became Patterson’s main competition in preseason camp. The two also competed during spring ball — but that was before Patterson was officially deemed eligible by the NCAA. Because an extra year was added to Ole Miss’ bowl game, Patterson and his non-senior Ole Miss teammates who decided to transfer were eventually ruled eligible to play immediately.
Quarterback stability has been fleeting since Jim Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor, and UM fans are hoping Patterson, the former five-star recruit who transferred from Ole Miss, will solve that problem — especially on the heels of a disappointing 8-5 record in 2017.
An early decision from Jim Harbaugh
While it would have been a shock if anybody other than Patterson started for Michigan, it’s somewhat surprising that Harbaugh has gone public with the result of his quarterback competition.
He has been reticent to publicly reveal his starting quarterback during his time as the Wolverines head coach.
In 2015, Jake Rudock, an Iowa transfer, started for Harbaugh’s debut. The next year, it was Speight who emerged as the No. 1 QB over John O’Korn and Shane Morris. And last year, Harbaugh opened things up again with Speight besting O’Korn a second time.
Now, with the decision out in the open, Patterson will get full first-team reps in the days leading up to the opener.
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