Name: Joe Milton
Weight: 234 lbs.
High school: Olympia (FL) Olympia
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #5
Last year: I ranked Milton #80 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He played in four games and was 3/4 for 58 yards and had 7 carries for 31 yards and 1 touchdown.
TTB Rating: 85
Expectations were all over the map for Joe Milton coming out of high school. Some fans expected him to step right in and be a stud, passing up Dylan McCaffrey for the #2 quarterback; some even suggested he would be a day one starter if Shea Patterson’s eligibility waiver from the NCAA failed. And on the other side, some people thought he would bust because of his low completion percentage in high school. You can see I was somewhere in between – I gave him a TTB Rating of 85, but I thought he would redshirt. He will get a redshirt, thanks to the new NCAA redshirt rule, since he only played in four games. He played in three big games (Wisconsin, Ohio State, Florida) and against Rutgers. I think he ran the ball better than some expected, and you can’t argue much with 75% completions and 14.5 yards per attempt through the air.
Those are small sample sizes, though, and Milton still resides at #3 on the depth chart. Patterson is the returning starter, and McCaffrey returns after breaking his collarbone to end the season on the injured list. It seems like an injury always dings a quarterback for at least a game or two, so that obviously puts the #3 quarterback in the on-deck circle. I still expect Milton to have a solid college career, but it seems like he’s getting a little bit antsy; word out of Ann Arbor was that the coaching staff sat down with Milton and his family this off-season to explain to him what the future looks like in 2019 and beyond, with the implication that the seaweed might seem greener in somebody else’s lake.
With the way college football is going, it would be mildly surprising if both McCaffrey and Milton finish their careers in a Michigan uniform. But for now, I think Michigan is in a solid position if Milton is the third-best guy.
Prediction: Backup quarterback