Tate Forcier, ex-Wolverine . . . for now

Tate Forcier, ex-Wolverine . . . for now


January 14, 2011
See you later, Tate.  Or not.

During Wednesday’s press conference to introduce new head coach Brady Hoke, athletic director David Brandon was asked about the status of Tate Forcier, Michigan’s starting quarterback in 2009 and backup in 2010.  Brandon responded that Forcier is “no longer with the program.”

Some reports indicate that Forcier is no longer at Michigan due to flunking out during the fall semester.  Mike Forcier, Tate’s father, stated that his son did not flunk out of school. Regardless, he was ineligible for the Gator Bowl against Mississippi State.  Forcier is supposedly enrolled at a community college in the hopes of re-applying to the University of Michigan.  If Forcier were to be reinstated to U of M for the fall semester, he would not lose a year of eligibility, as far as I know; he would be a true junior for the 2011 season.

Forcier is a 4-star recruit from San Diego who enrolled early in January 2009 to take the position vacated by Steve Threet (transferred to Arizona State) and Nick Sheridan (relegated to the bench).  He immediately seized the starting position and  held onto it for his entire season freshman.  The team went 5-7 and Forcier finished 165-for-281 (58.7%) for 2050 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.

Some reported immaturity and the meteoric rise of classmate Denard Robinson sent Forcier to the sideline for the majority of 2010.  He originally responded poorly to the benching, entertaining thoughts of a transfer when true freshman Devin Gardner overtook the sophomore Forcier for second place on the depth chart during the 2010 opener against Connecticut.  However, Forcier’s third-place spot on the depth chart turned out to be maturity based rather than performance-based, and he eventually overtook Gardner.  Forcier saw spot duty in several games, but really showed out when Robinson was injured against Illinois.  Forcier finished out the second half of the 67-65, triple-overtime victory.  He ended the season 54-for-84 (64.3%) for 597 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.

I was excited about Forcier when he was recruited back in 2009.  I thought he had a chance to be a version 2.0 Rich Rodriguez quarterback, the type who would throw the ball a lot, run a little bit, and hand off to some as-yet-undiscovered superstar Rich Rodriguez running back.  But . . . uhhh . . . none of that really happened.  Forcier turned out to be a little too headstrong for his own good, throwing passes he had no business throwing, scrambling with the ball loosely held in one arm, taking his starting job a little too lightly, and ultimately losing his spot on the football team.  He still has potential to be a decent quarterback if he matures – both on and off the field.  But I also won’t be surprised if he fades into the background like both of his quarterback brothers (Jason, who was a backup at Michigan and Stanford; and Chris, who played at UCLA and Furman).
Forcier’s departure almost guarantees that new coach Brady Hoke will need to recruit one or more quarterbacks for the Class of 2011.  Even if Forcier finds himself back on Michigan’s campus in the fall, the quarterback position would remain thin with only three scholarship players.  While Hoke has promised to incorporate Denard Robinson’s skills into the offense, I expect that Michigan will try to find a pro-style quarterback before National Signing Day.

3 comments

  1. Comments: 21395
    jack simms
    Jan 14, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    my sons and i thought that while forcier was pretty good, sometimes reaaly good, in a "run-oriented" spread, [but had some limitations in the running game] we thought he would be terrific in a "pass-oriented" spread [maybe like what leach ran at texas tech]–what do you think??

  2. Comments: 21395
    Jan 14, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    @ jack simms 12:01 p.m.

    It's interesting that you bring that up, because I wrote this post a couple years ago:

    http://touchthebanner.blogspot.com/2009/05/is-rodriguez-offense-evolving.html

    It speculates about the possibility of Rodriguez turning to a spread-oriented offense. I think it was clear (look at the 2010 Iowa game) that Michigan trusted Forcier to be in the game when passing was mandated. So yeah, I don't think Forcier was a great fit for Rodriguez if Rodriguez truly likes to run two-thirds of the time.

  3. Comments: 21395
    Marc Shepherd
    Jan 15, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Before Forcier left the team, the official explanation was something vague about “not meeting university standards.” There are many infractions that could fall under that rubric. I am guessing that he did something more than just failing a class.

    The program has a bit of a dilemma about Forcier. He has been prone to immaturity, and I doubt he will be cured of that overnight. But with only two scholarship QBs and (as I write this) none in the incoming class, they need him.

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