On Monday, Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson announced he would be transferring to Michigan for his final two seasons of eligibility. He will join Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey, Joe Milton and Kevin Doyle in what was already going to be a talent-rich quarterback room. Patterson needs to obtain a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible to play at Michigan next season. “From what I’m hearing, I’m pretty sure that I will win that and be able to play next year,” Patterson told the Toledo Blade. “If I don’t, I’ll work as hard as I can learning the offense and I’ll be playing the year after.”
So what does he bring to the Wolverines?
“He would bring a mobile, athletic element to Michigan’s offense,” Andy Staples said in a video segment on Sports Illustrated. “Remember, Jim Harbaugh did run read option stuff with the San Francisco 49ers. That sort of thing would fit very well with what Patterson can do. No matter what happens, Michigan will probably be playing with a more mobile quarterback than in the first couple of years of the Harbaugh era. Peters can move around pretty well, McCaffrey can move around really well and Patterson, we know has that ability to keep a play alive behind the line of scrimmage or take off running. That’s something that Michigan has lacked for much of the Harbaugh era, is a quarterback who, when he gets pressured, can run around a little bit and keep a play alive and still throw the ball down the field. That’s something Patterson can give them.”
How does Patterson alter things in the Big Ten?
“This is enormous,” Greg McElroy said on ESPN’s College Football show. “This is absolutely enormous and it upsets, I think, the way that we’re currently viewing Big Ten hierarchy, because Michigan, now with Shea Patterson at quarterback, they’re an immediate contender.
They have all the other pieces that you could possibly ask for on a championship roster. Now you put in a quarterback that can improvise and make plays on his own. It’s really going to be exciting to watch him grow with some of the young talent that got significant minutes this year.”
“He kinda catches your eyes for the same reasons (Oklahoma quarterback) Baker Mayfield does,” Tom Luginbill told The Detroit News Monday. “It’s not about being a 6-2, 6-3 imposing figure, it was more about moxie and confidence and intangible factors. He may be 6-1 on his best days, but he’s a really good athlete. What catches your eye is more how he carries himself. How he plays. That riverboat gambler mentality. You could see why other kids were drawn to him. In his mind, he felt like no matter what the play is, I can make it happen.”
“At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Patterson has the build of a dual-threat QB, 247Sports reports. “He can move, too. But make no mistake; Patterson is capable of making any throw. He features fantastic mechanics and one of the smoothest throwing motions you’ll see. Plus, the ball just rifles off Patterson’s hand. Patterson, whose 2017 season ended after seven games due to a knee injury, completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was the SEC’s leading passer after three weeks and shattered the school record for passing yards in a game with 489.”
Patterson gives the Wolverines an experienced playmaker at quarterback which is something they haven’t had in a long time. He also gives them impressive depth at quarterback, which is something they haven’t had in a really long time. Think about the state of the quarterback room when Jim Harbaugh took over the program. He had Wilton Speight, Shane Morris and Alex Malzone. He had to bring in Jake Rudock to run the show as a grad transfer. It has been a process to get the depth at quarterback to this position. Brandon Peters certainly showed some good things this year and Dylan McCaffrey has all the makings of a truly special quarterback.
With even average play at quarterback, Michigan very well should have defeated Michigan State and Ohio State this season. In both of those games, the OSU game in particular, there were plays to be made and they just weren’t made by the quarterback. By adding Patterson to the mix, it all but ensures Michigan will have at least an average quarterback, but most likely they will have a really good one.
It’s going to be time for the Wolverines to start winning big games and beating their rivals. Speaking of rivals, Michigan opens next season at Notre Dame.
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