Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray wasn’t the only football player to be drafted by a team in the MLB draft. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson just had his name go off the board.
Patterson was drafted by the Texas Rangers with the 1,169th pick overall in the 39th round of the MLB Amateur Draft. Considering his placement in the draft, it would be unlikely Patterson will have to make such a high-profile decision to choose between baseball and football the way Murray did this week.
Patterson has fought hard to get a chance to play quarterback for Michigan, and his future outlook appears to be more promising as a quarterback than a third baseman. Patterson has transferred from Ole Miss to Michigan, and after a bit of a tussle to get his eligibility cleared for the upcoming season, Patterson is expected to be a favorite for the starting job at quarterback for the Wolverines this fall.
It is not at all uncommon for baseball teams to draft some notable football players late in the draft, especially if they feel there is a slim chance that player will ever actually play baseball. Johnny Manziel was once drafted by the San Diego Padres, and Russell Wilson was once in the Colorado Rockies farm system before transferring to play football for Wisconsin (football has worked out well for him, by the way).
At Oklahoma, Murray has already made it clear he will be playing football for the Sooners this season despite being picked ninth overall by the Oakland A’s.
New Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson says his decision to transfer from Ole Miss to Michigan was nothing more than a smart business move for himself. Reflecting on his offseason transfer over the weekend at a quarterback camp, Patterson maintained his stance that Ole Miss misled him in the recruiting process and blamed his old program for not holding up their end of the bargain.
“Some things were left unsaid [about the NCAA investigation] that we didn’t know about,” Patterson said in an interview with ESPN. “They didn’t think we were going to get the two-year bowl ban. At the end of the day, I wanted to do what was best for me and my career.”
Ole Miss issued a self-imposed bowl ban for the 2017 season as an investigation from the NCAA was ongoing for potential violations occurring under former head coach Hugh Freeze. The NCAA tacked on an additional year for the 2018 season with its list of sanctions against the football program that included a reduction in scholarships and three years of probation. Patterson and other Ole Miss players recruited by the Rebels subsequently looked to transfer to new programs in an effort to find a better chance to compete or play in the postseason.
For Patterson, the opportunity to transfer to Michigan was an opportunity to compete for a national title. Of course, Patterson has also learned another lesson about the reality of the sport of college football.
“I’ve learned that this is a business, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Patterson had a grueling transfer process that was recently resolved in his favor. Patterson has been ruled eligible to play for the Wolverines immediately this fall, and it is suspected he will be the team’s top quarterback. Having Patterson as the starting quarterback is expected to give Michigan’s stale offense a lift. Whether that is enough to lift Michigan into Big Ten title contention remains to be seen, but the offense should benefit by having a potential upgrade at the quarterback position this season.
It remains to be seen if Michigan will be able to climb the Big Ten East Division standings this season, but it is unquestionable the Wolverines have a better shot at playing for a national title than Ole Miss does this fall. That is why quarterback Shea Patterson says he decided to transfer to Ann Arbor.
Speaking to the media following the Michigan football program in Paris, France, Patterson opened up about his decision to transfer to Michigan for the first time. A big part of the reason Patterson chose the Wolverines is the opportunity to be able to compete for a championship, which is something that would be impossible with an Ole Miss program currently restricted by NCAA sanctions, including a postseason ban.
“I can live with throwing an interception in the national championship game. Or to get there, in the playoff. It might be hard to live with that — but I don’t know if I could have lived with not being able to to get the chance to compete for one,” Patterson said, according to Mlive.com. “I think watching Michigan all last year, and with the guys we got coming back on defense, I feel like we’ve got a real good shot at doing that.”
Patterson likely solves the biggest question for Michigan coming off the 2017 season now that he has officially been ruled eligible for the upcoming season. Michigan’s defense should be loaded with talent and the Wolverines return the team’s leading rusher in Karan Higdon (not to mention a nice alternative in Chris Evans). Among the biggest issues Michigan had last week was at quarterback, which hindered the rest of the offense. With Patterson likely to win the quarterback job (and yes, Jim Harbaugh is saying there will be an open competition for the job), the offense could receive a nice boost in production and efficiency. The schedule will be tricky with road games at Ohio State and Michigan State and home games against Penn State and Wisconsin (and Nebraska?), but the offense almost has nowhere to go but up.
Michigan has yet to play for the Big Ten championship in the championship game era for the conference, and Ohio State figures to be the favorite out of the East division this season. Then again, the last two years of the College Football Playoff have included a non-division winner in the four-team field (Ohio State in 2016, Alabama last year). So the precedent has been set. If Michigan can get even a marginally improved offense with Patterson, who knows?
Fresh after learning quarterback Shea Patterson will be eligible to play for Michigan this fall, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh shared his thoughts on how to fix the NCAA transfer process moving forward. Simply put, a school accepting a transfer could pay for a scholarship to the school from where that player is coming.
“Say a school like Michigan gets a player from Eastern Michigan or Central Michigan — maybe you’ve got to pay the scholarship back,” Harbaugh opined with media following the football program in Paris, France, according to MLive.com. “Or transfers — maybe you’ve got to pay the scholarship back?”
That is definitely an interesting concept, and in theory, it could incentivize a program losing a player to move quicker in sorting out the transfer process to allow a player to move to a new school. Patterson eventually won out in a drawn-out transfer battle where Ole Miss was initially reluctant to approve a waiver to allow the former Rebels quarterback to be eligible right away this fall.
Under Harbaugh’s proposed transfer plan, Michigan would be on the hook for covering the cost of a scholarship for Ole Miss. This would bring the college game closer to a professional sports level with one team having to pay another for acquiring a player. Harbaugh is aware that this would blur those lines a bit.
“Just so there doesn’t become free agency in college football,” Harbaugh said, per MLive.com. “That’s the thing I would worry about. But I think scholarships should count as two, or pay back the other school for the money that they have invested, potentially.”
It may be just another idea floated by Harbaugh that may not gain much traction, but sharing new ideas is always a good idea if it leads to a conversation about improving the game and can open the door for a better experience for the player.
The Michigan Wolverines may have their new starting quarterback. Shea Patterson, after a drawn-out battle for eligibility this season, will be eligible to play for the Wolverines this fall. According to a report from The Detroit News, Patterson has been granted a transfer waiver from the NCAA after the NCAA, Michigan and Ole Miss came to terms on an agreement to allow for Patterson to become eligible.
From The Detroit News report;
An agreement has been reached among the NCAA, Michigan and Ole Miss, according to the source, and with the completion of some paperwork, Patterson will be eligible to play this fall.
The source requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made, but that announcement is expected soon.
A Michigan official said Thursday night the athletic department has “no new information on a final decision from the NCAA.”
Ole Miss had been holding up the transfer process for Patterson because the school did not accept Patterson’s reason for wanting to transfer from the Rebels to Michigan. Frustrated with the process, Patterson ripped Ole Miss and former head coach Hugh Freeze. With Ole Miss blocking the transfer for Patterson, the former Ole Miss quarterback had been hanging in limbo with Michigan with no idea if he would be cleared to play this fall for the Wolverines or if he would have to sit out a season due to typical NCAA transfer rules.
Because Ole Miss was placed on probation amid scandal, Patterson sought a transfer after feeling he had been misled and lied to by Freeze and Ole Miss. Now at Michigan, Patterson can immediately begin focusing on competing for the starting job at quarterback for Jim Harbaugh and Michigan. Given how much Michigan could stand to improve at the position, Patterson could give the Wolverines a much-needed boost this fall.
A formal announcement on Patterson’s status at Michigan is expected to be made once the legal paperwork is completed between the NCAA, Michigan, and Ole Miss.