So here we are with fifteen days to the opening kickoff of the 2015 Michigan Football season. The hopes are high, the spotlight is shining, and Jim Harbaugh’s khakis are in full effect.
Following media day on August 6th and entering fall camp on August 7th the athletes and coaching staff have been strictly business. Coach Harbaugh has issued a media blackout in what he calls a “submarine” style system, communicating with nobody outside of his athletes and coaching staff. Following Wednesday’s open student practice he declined any comments or interviews from a slew of B1G media on site ready to turn on the cameras and get some answers. This, ladies and gentleman, is decision week in Ann Arbor.
As expected, Harbaugh has not taken his foot off the gas pedal since his arrival. From recruiting satellite tours and camps all over the country, to signing a slew of new coaches and staff, to new uniform deals with Nike/Jordan, there is a hell of a LOT going on. This is the time to put everything else aside and focus on the one thing that matters the most for Harbaugh and company, The team, the team, the team. Among all of the questions the media is pressing with for answers, there is one that stands out as the clear cut winner everyone wants to know the answer to.
“Who will throw the football?”
Shortly after the Spring Game this year, I asked this same question to someone that you all may know. Mr. Brian Cole II.
Cole, a graduate of Heritage High School, is one of this season’s biggest names to watch on the field for the Wolverines. Cole and I crossed paths while he was shopping inside the mall that I at the time worked in in his hometown of Saginaw, MI. We talked about Harbaugh, his life at campus, how he felt about the upcoming season and so on…but before he left the store, I asked him the one question I needed an answer to “If the season starts tomorrow, who’s throwing the football?” His answer? A smile, and with very little hesitation “Shane Morris baby!”
Feeling satisfied with the answer, we shook hands, I wished him good luck this season, and he left the store, but then another man came to town in Ann Arbor.
Enter: Jake Rudock, the two year starting QB transfer from Iowa that was added to an already crowded roster of QB’s at Michigan. Rudock started the past two years for Iowa putting up 4819 yards, 34 TD’s and 18 INT’s. Not bad, but not great.
Shane Morris on the other hand has had an even tougher start at Michigan behind now former head coach Brady Hoke. Playing in only eight games thus far, Morris holds career stats of 389 yards through the air, 0 TD’s, and 5 INT’s. Yikes.
But let’s put all that aside for a minute shall we? Morris comes to Ann Arbor as a five star recruit with a cannon of an arm. The plays he made in HS while leading Warren De La Salle were amazing (YouTube his HS highlight film) and from what we have seen from him this year he has changed in character, and has only gotten better on the field with his mechanics. At the spring game, he was the first one out of the locker room and onto the field and has practiced with the 1’s consistently since then. He seems more calm, composed and in charge then ever before. In more recent interviews you can tell that he has no intention on getting a secondary spot in his position, but neither does Rudock.
The main arguement between these two comes down to Potential vs. Consistency. On one hand you have Rudock, a QB that we’ve seen perform at a decent level, but not much more. He can throw the ball, he can make plays, but he is not really known for heaving it down field or floating it over the shoulder in sticky situations. He’s stable, but we haven’t seen anything out of Rudock to give him any “it” factor while he was in Iowa. Then on the other hand you have Morris, a kid with familiarization of the program, a rocket launcher attached to his shoulder and SO FAR has held the majority of the snaps at practices. The downside of Morris is the turnovers and whether or not he can shake off the jitters, focus, and lead an offense to Harbaugh’s standard. Also, does Morris live up to the hype? Can he be what everyone hopes?
With that being said if Harbaugh plays the safe card, Rudock will be your starter come September 3rd. If Harbaugh plays the risk vs. reward card, then Morris will throw the ball vs. the Utes.
My guess? Call me crazy but Harbaugh is a betting man, and a confident man. My prediction is that Shane Morris will be our starting QB this season until given a reason not to be. #GoBlue
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