At the end of spring practice in mid-April, Brady Hoke acknowledged that Shane Morris had narrowed the gap on the incumbent, Devin Gardner, in Michigan’s quarterback competition.
Shortly after the start of summer camp in early August, we should all know just who will line up under center in UM’s season opener against Appalachian State.
During an interview on SiriusXM radio Thursday, the Wolverines head coach was asked about the state of the quarterback competition. Not so unexpectedly, Hoke wouldn’t tip his hand, although he did make mention of a somewhat definitive timeline for tabbing either Gardner or Morris.
“Even though we have a starter coming back, I think that’s a great competition,” Hoke said by way of mlive.com. “At the end of the day, somewhere early in fall camp, I think that position will be secured by one guy.
“[Someone] who will go out there and lead this offense and lead this team. But, at the same time, having [depth] if a guy gets dinged up, or a guy isn’t having the day he wants to have or we want him to have. There’s an opportunity for the next guy to come in, and that’s what’s been great [about this].”
Gardner started every game last season before a foot injury he suffered in the loss to Ohio State in the regular-season finale sidelined him for the Wolverines’ bowl game. In his first career start, and as a true freshman no less, Morris completed 24-of-38 passes for 196 yards and interception as UM dropped a 31-14 decision to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
While Gardner was at one time quoted as saying that “it was amazing how much better [quarterback competition this spring] made me,” the incumbent at the position –despite his pre-spring proclamation— exited the 15 practice sessions without a firm grasp on the starting job.
Interestingly — or not — Morris is one of the 14 players prominently featured on Michigan’s 2014 football poster that was released earlier in the week. Read into it what you will: