Take Two: Shea Patterson to Michigan?
Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and a local expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites.
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Michigan’s quarterback play has been subpar. Former five-star quarterback Shea Patterson has been given permission to pursue a transfer from Ole Miss, which was hit by sanctions late last week.
Is this a perfect marriage?
The top-rated dual-threat quarterback and No. 3 overall prospect in the 2016 class by Rivals.com, Patterson could bring a level of dynamic play and athletic ability to Ann Arbor that has been drastically lacking since coach Jim Harbaugh got there three seasons ago.
Wilton Speight was manageable early in the season but then was injured and has since announced he will transfer. John O’Korn was a mess and Brandon Peters provided a spark, but Patterson could give the Wolverines the jolt on offense that’s needed to possibly make them Big Ten title contenders - and maybe more.
In three seasons under Harbaugh, Michigan has finished third twice and fourth this year in the Big Ten East. Expectations were higher when he took the job and an argument could be made that quarterback play has been lackluster.
Patterson-to-Michigan makes a whole lot of sense, but there could still be some legal wrangling to make it happen immediately.
According to reports, the NCAA will allow all incoming seniors to transfer from Ole Miss without having to sit out a season. Patterson and some other Ole Miss underclassmen are trying to find ways to work around that to become eligible immediately.
FIRST TAKE: Brandon Brown, TheWolverine.com
“If Michigan can find a way to land Shea Patterson and he becomes eligible right way, it would change U-M’s season next fall. Brandon Peters would be a redshirt sophomore and while he showed promise, he didn’t win the starting job in 2017. Patterson is a dynamic playmaker and would really add a dimension to U-M’s offense that it simply doesn’t have as of right now.
“I can’t say it would completely cure the offense’s ills because the offensive line is still a work in progress. If the O-line continues to improve like it did late in 2017 and Patterson is the guy, the unit should definitely be a lot better in 2018.
SECOND TAKE: Mike Farrell, Rivals.com
“Patterson wants to go to a guy who’s known as a quarterback developer and a guy who’s played the position in the NFL. The appeal would be based on the fact that he’d be losing another bowl game. If it’s an immediate thing, then it’s immediate help.
“Patterson was doing very well in the SEC this season before he got hurt. He brings a lot to the table. He brings mobility and athleticism that has been clearly lacking at Michigan. I don’t think it’s a magic bullet for them, but quarterback play has been the one thing that’s been lacking the most. It seems to be a natural fit.”