Michigan recruiting mailbag: Questions about Shea Patterson, Joe Milton and quarterbacks
Have Michigan football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Michigan recruiting mailbag to discuss Wolverines recruiting. This week, we discuss how the 2018 quarterback race is shaping up with potentially three new signal callers joining the roster.
Q: Why is Michigan considering another transfer QB? — Anthony Nicholas Zeipekis via Facebook
A: Michigan has had two quarterbacks transfer into the program in the three seasons Jim Harbaugh has been at the helm: Jake Rudock from Iowa in 2015 and John O’Korn from Houston that same year. Rudock won the starting job as a grad transfer his one and only season with the Wolverines, while O’Korn sat out that first season. You’re well aware of his trials and tribulations the last two seasons playing as a backup to Wilton Speight, becoming the starter this season when Speight was injured, then losing that starting job to redshirt freshman Brandon Peters.
Shea Patterson is looking to transfer from Mississippi after the NCAA levied sanctions against the program. He was a 5-star recruit in the 2016 class from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He was set to redshirt his freshman season but an injury to starter Chad Kelly gave him an opportunity to play. He threw for 3,139 yards, 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in three games last season and the first seven games of this season before sustaining a torn ligament in his right knee. There is a question as to whether he would be allowed to play immediately as a transfer because of the sanctions against Ole Miss. If he transfers to Michigan, and if he’s allowed to participate immediately, he automatically would become the most experienced and accomplished player at the position for the Wolverines.
Harbaugh craves competition at every position. If Patterson does come to Michigan, it will make an already contested job spot even more competitive.
Q: Do you think Joe Milton will give Peters and McCaffrey a run for the QB job? ― Jim Schribner via Facebook
A: Keeping with the quarterback theme, regardless of whether Patterson decides to transfer to Michigan, it will be the most-watched position battle of 2018. Joe Milton, a 4-star recruit from Orlando, Fla., should be in the mix. Milton has said he plans on signing his letter of intent on Dec. 20 and enrolling in classes in January.
Peters is expected to start the Outback Bowl against South Carolina and should be considered the No. 1 quarterback heading into the offseason. He was doing well before sustaining a concussion against Wisconsin on Nov. 18 that forced him to miss the regular-season finale against Ohio State. McCaffrey was a 4-star recruit from Colorado in 2017 and will be a redshirt freshman next season. Defensive coordinator Don Brown sung McCaffrey’s praises for the job he did running the scout team each week. Can he translate that into running Michigan’s offense?
Not to be forgotten is Kevin Doyle, another 2018 commit. He’s from Washington, D.C., and is coming off an impressive season in which he led St. John’s College High School to its first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship since 1989.
The Wolverines have viable candidates for the quarterback job in 2018 and beyond. It remains to be seen which of them will step up to take the position.
Q: Do we have any offensive line recruits coming in? I think that’s the important thing. ― Brian Alderman via Facebook
A: Michigan has two offensive linemen committed for the 2018 class with tackle Jalen Mayfield and Ryan Hayes, but it is working on adding to the group. Nicholas Petit-Frere, a tackle from Tampa, Fla., is a 5-star prospect who has become a priority candidate for the Wolverines. He made an official visit on Nov. 25 and offensive coordinator/line coach Tim Drevno made an in-house visit to Petit-Frere on Nov. 29. Michigan is hosting tackle Jarrett Patterson of Mission Viejo, Calif., this weekend. Patterson has committed to Arizona State but the Sun Devils recently replaced coach Todd Graham with former ESPN analyst and NFL coach Herm Edwards.
The Wolverines signed five offensive linemen in 2017, including Cesar Ruiz, who started five games at right guard and is expected to move to center next season. The other four — Chuck Filiaga, Ja’Raymond Hall, Andrew Stueber and Joel Honigford — have gotten a redshirt season to develop and should be in contention for playing time in 2018.
Q: That DT from New Jersey is a must get. What are our chances? ― George Felekides via Facebook
A: Mr. Felekides asks about Tyler Friday, a 4-star prospect from Ramsey, N.J., who played at Don Bosco. Michigan long has been considered the favorite to sign Friday but he is also looking at Ohio State, Penn State and Miami. He visited Michigan on Nov. 25 after going to Ohio State the prior weekend.
As with the offensive line, Michigan is seeking to bolster its defensive line with the 2018 class. Ends Aidan Hutchinson and Taylor Upshaw are the only two defensive linemen committed to the class at this point. In addition to Friday, Michigan is targeting ends Eyabi Anoma and Jayson Oweh in this class. The Wolverines have commitments from 5-star ends Christopher Hinton and Stephen Herron Jr. for the 2019 class.
Have a question about Michigan recruiting? Tweet us @Landof10MICH or follow on the Land of 10/Michigan Facebook page and ask us there. We’ll try to answer in a future mailbag. Check to see if your issue already was addressed by reading previous Michigan recruiting mailbags here.