Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson has announced that he will be transferring to Michigan:
— Shea Patterson (@SheaPatterson_1) December 11, 2017
I wrote a piece on the possibility of Patterson transferring in last week (LINK), and just as a refresher, I’ve had my eye on Patterson since Michigan recruited him out of high school, when I had him #2 on my QB wish list (LINK). (Coincidentally, there had been rumors about the #1 guy, Jacob Eason, also being interested in transferring to Michigan from Georgia.)
Hit the jump for more on Patterson’s commitment.
If Patterson is eligible to play immediately in 2018, then I believe he will beat out Brandon Peters for the #1 job. I had Patterson ranked higher, and I think he’s a better playmaker. But it’s not a foregone conclusion. Peters was playing well and threw for 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions this season. Meanwhile, Patterson was completing 63.8% of his passes for 2,259 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions before he got hurt this past season.
One concern is that Patterson did not play well against elite teams (0 TD, 5 INT vs. #4 Alabama and #16 LSU), but he played for a 6-6 team going through some turmoil with an interim coach (who has since been named the permanent head coach). He will be surrounded by better overall talent at Michigan, and he will have a better coach.
This is a good thing for Michigan, regardless of what happens with the rest of the quarterback depth chart. It would be frustrating as a young quarterback to see an established starter transfer in, but at the same time, Jim Harbaugh can’t wait for the young guys to matriculate and mature. So far Harbaugh has been playing three 3-star recruits (Jake Rudock, Wilton Speight, and John O’Korn) with limited upside, and now he’s getting to a stage where there can be a true battle between 4-star or higher prospects (Patterson, Peters, Dylan McCaffrey, Joe Milton). If one of those players decides to remove himself from the competition, then . . . well . . . that’s how competition works sometimes.
Meanwhile, it has yet to be made public whether safety Deontay Anderson and wide receiver Van Jefferson will follow Patterson to Michigan. Both were recruited by the Wolverines coming out of high school, and the depth chart could be inviting. Anderson could probably start immediately, if not replace Tyree Kinnel by 2019. And while Michigan has some young receivers with talent, Jefferson would probably be no lower than fourth on the overall depth chart, behind Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, and Grant Perry. Whether the NCAA makes them sit out 2018 or not could be the determining factor in whether they choose to leave Oxford.
Michigan will now have five quarterbacks on the 2018 roster: Patterson (Jr.), Peters (RS So.), McCaffrey (RS Fr.), Milton (Fr.), and Kevin Doyle (Fr.). It also brings the planned roster to 86 scholarship players, which means at least one more current scholarship guy will have to depart.
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