ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Brandon Peters returns for a third season with the Michigan football team, but there is no guarantee he will be Michigan’s starting quarterback this fall.
Peters is firm in what he wants to accomplish in 2018, even after a pedestrian outing in the Outback Bowl in January, in which he threw for 186 yards and 2 interceptions.
“This will light a fire under me,” Peters said after the Outback Bowl. “Just take everything that’s happened this year and learn from it and just take it into next year. And be better.”
Peters has to prove that, especially with the arrival of Shea Patterson and the ascension of Dylan McCaffrey. Both will factor into the quarterback fold after redshirting in 2017.
The Wolverines open spring practices Friday, with the most attention on the quarterbacks. Peters threw for 672 yards and 4 touchdowns in six games (including four starts) in 2017. He will have to compete again for the starting spot with the addition of Patterson, a transfer from Mississippi.
Peters joins Patterson, McCaffrey and Joe Milton as candidates for starter. Michigan may not decide its starting quarterback for 2018, but the next few weeks will give some definition as to who could take the lead in the competition.
Here’s what Peters needs to do to win the starting job for this fall:
Peters showed he was capable but not dynamic as a quarterback in 2017. Part of that was because he entered midseason as a starter, and didn’t have ample time to work with his offense in game situations. Another part of that was because he played behind an offensive line that struggled to create cohesiveness and put its quarterbacks at risk. Peters sustained a concussion Nov. 18 at Wisconsin. He became Michigan’s second quarterback to sustain a major injury, along with Wilton Speight, who missed nine games with cracked vertebrae and left Michigan to pursue a graduate transfer.
Michigan passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton told The Michigan Insider he saw Peters gain confidence and competence in a five-game stretch in which he commanded the offense.
“With quarterbacks, you really don’t know who they are and what they are until they get into live games,” Hamilton said.
“We were able to watch Brandon come out of his shell, be more assertive and have more confidence in communicating with his teammates. But then he had a setback when he was injured. He missed some valuable time, primarily valuable practice time. It took him a little time to kind of find that rhythm and that pace and reacclimate himself.”
Peters needs to learn and grow from his first full season of playing quarterback. He needs to apply that to competing for Michigan starting job.
“He’s going to really have to compete with the guys we brought in, as well as Dylan McCaffrey and the other guys that we already had on campus,” Hamilton said. “He understands that he has to perform consistently, at a high level.”