Michigan quarterback Shane Morris came away feeling confident about his chances of being the starting quarterback for the Wolverines in the fall. Even with the possibility of Michigan welcoming Iowa’s Jake Rudock via transfer this summer, Morris welcomes the competition and says Michigan can bring in more quarterbacks if they want. He is ready for the challenge.
“They can bring in 100 quarterbacks, it’s not going to matter to me,” Morris said follow Michigan’s spring game Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor. Morris threw the game’s only touchdown to Jarun Dukes late in the first half of the live scrimmage.
Michigan’s spring game was not a clean afternoon for the offense, including Morris. At times Morris made some good throws, but his receivers did not help him out on some passes. The late first-half throw to Dukes for the touchdown may have been the best throw of the game. Despite not having an excellent afternoon, Morris did perform better than true freshman Alex Malzone. Malzone was off the mark for much of the afternoon and was picked off a couple of times, although one was not really his fault.
Jim Harbaugh did say after the game Morris is in the lead for the starting job based on everything that has happened since he arrived. However, that could very will change over the summer.
Rudock is expected to transfer to Michigan from Iowa after graduating this spring. He was recently given approval from the Big Ten on a waiver that would allow him to transfer to another Big Ten school and play immediately this fall.
Then the quarterback competition will pick right back up.
If there was one thing to take away from Michigan’s spring game, the first with Jim Harbaugh as the head coach, it should be the offense is going to take some time to come together. Michigan’s spring game saw just seven points in a live scrimmage, with the Blue squad taking the 7-0 victory over the Maize, and the offense looked shaky at times. This should be expected as Harbaugh and his staff put together a new offensive philosophy with a questionable quarterback situation. Also, help could be on the way.
Michigan’s true freshman quarterback, Alex Malzone, got the first crack under center with the Maize team getting the ball first. But it was running back De’Veon Smith that got things started with a nice run to the left following some blocks (yes, Michigan’s offensive line blocked well) on the first play of the scrimmage. The first possession ended on a failed fourth down attempt, with a trick play seeing wide receiver Jehu Chesson throw an incomplete pass down field. Shane Morris took the field to lead the Blue team on the ensuing possession. It was a short one, but Jabrill Peppers received a nice round of applause following his first tackle of the game.
It looked destined to be a scoreless first half in the spring game, but Morris connected with Jaron Dukes down the left sideline for a touchdown late in the first half. Morris had some nice throws at times and received little support from his receivers early on at times, so this was a nice way to end the first half. It turns out that was the only score Michigan fans got to see Saturday afternoon. Morris did have some good moments but there was nothing shown Saturday that would suggest the starting job will be his to lose moving forward.
It may have been a coincidence, or maybe it was not, but toward the end of the spring scrimmage Big Ten Network made the call to show some highlights of Iowa’s Jake Rudock. Rudock is expected to be heading to Michigan after graduating from Iowa this spring. With Morris and Malzone lacking in big plays, the Rudock highlights could be a reminder that better days could be coming for Michigan’s passing game.
Michigan’s 2015 season will begin on Thursday, September 3 at Utah. The Wolverines were defeated at home last fall by the Pac-12 South program.
National Signing Day is coming up next week, and Jim Harbaugh is looking to close in as big a way as possible to help save what had been a disappointing recruiting class in Ann Arbor. This weekend Harbaugh managed to flip the commitment of four-star quarterback Zach Gentry from Texas to Michigan.
Gentry is a 6′-6″, 230 pound pro-style quarterback, ranked fourth among pro-style passers according to Rivals. The top prospect out of the state of New Mexico, Gentry would have been a key recruit for Charlie Strong and the Texas Longhorns, but now he is the prize of Harbaugh and his newly assembled staff at Michigan. Gentry is the first commitment added to Michigan’s Class of 2015 since Harbaugh was hired. Gentry flipped his decision while on an official visit to Michigan this weekend.
Gentry is the second quarterback added to Michigan’s Class of 2015. Four-star talent Alex Malzone, an in-state recruit, was an early enrollee for the Wolverines. He will get a head start on the offense and a chance to compete for playing time under Harbaugh this spring, while Gentry will not be able to join the program until the summer. All of a sudden, Michigan is has some young quarterbacks with some good potential to work with.
Michigan also added three-star defensive end Reuben Jones, from Lakeland, Florida, to the Class of 2015. The Wolverines currently have eight players in the Class of 2015, including a pair of early enrollees.
Texas has a much fuller class even without Gentry. The Texas recruiting class also include three-star quarterback Matthew Merrick. Texas also added four-star quarterback Jerrod Heard to the program in last season’s recruiting class.