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Previously: Desmond Morgan, Blake O’Neill
Michigan did not recruit Rudock coming out of high school in 2011, so I was only vaguely aware of him as an Iowa commit. He was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #24 pro-style quarterback, #651 overall, and #91 in Florida out of Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas. Rudock committed to the Hawkeyes in July of 2010. He also fielded offers from Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, among others. (Coincidentally, the current front-runner for the Michigan QB job in 2016, John O’Korn, is also a St. Thomas Aquinas product. O’Korn graduated in 2013 and played his first two college seasons at Houston before transferring.)
Rudock redshirted in 2011 and did not play at all in 2012, sitting behind starter James Vandenberg. He won the starting job as a redshirt sophomore in 2013, completing 59% of his passes for 2,383 yards, 18 TDs, and 13 INTs – plus 218 yards and 5 TDs on the ground – while going 8-5 as the starter. He stepped up his play in 2014 (62% completions, 2436 yards, 16 TDs, 5 INTs), but not enough to hold off calls for backup C.J. Beathard. After the season but before 2015 spring practices, Beathard was named the starter by head coach Kirk Ferentz. That signaled the end of the road for Rudock at Iowa, and he started exploring grad transfer options. He reportedly reached out to the staff at Michigan, but Jim Harbaugh had yet to see the current Michigan quarterbacks in action and wanted a look at them first. Once he saw what he was working with . . . he reciprocated Rudock’s interest. The two parties agreed to move forward together, and Rudock joined the team for August practices. It was a bit of a rocky beginning when Michigan lost to Utah. Rudock threw 3 interceptions in the contest, and some were wondering whether Michigan made the right decision. But that was his only multiple-interception game of the season, and the team went 10-3 on the year. Despite a rough first half to the season (6 TDs, 6 INTs in the first six games), he ended up with 20 TDs and 9 INTs on the year, along with the #2 passing yardage total in school history (3,017 yards).
Hit the jump for more on the career of Jake Rudock.