Many eyebrows were raised when Brady Hoke announced that the starting quarterback spot for the Michigan Wolverines would be decided by an offseason competition headlined by Devin Gardner and Shane Morris. It appears as if there is a leader in the clubhouse early on.
Hoke said Thursday during a spring practice press conference that Gardner, a redshirt senior, would be the starter if the season started today.
Read more on this situation after the jump.
“He’s doing okay, (but) he’s not ready to be the starter at Michigan,” Hoke said Thursday in an article written by Nick Baumgardner on Mlive.com. “Devin’s got the most experience at that job. I wouldn’t temper (anything about the competition).
“But if we were starting today, (Morris) wouldn’t be the guy out there. Two weeks from now? We’ll see.”
Hoke also went on to say that Gardner is showing no signs of last season’s foot injury.
Morris has all of the tools to be a successful signal-caller at this level, but there are definitely things in his mechanics that he can sure up. His time to shine at Michigan will come eventually, and it does speak volumes about his talents that he is being considered for the job with a guy like Gardner behind center.
This does not come as a surprise, as the only thing that really held Gardner back last season was poor offensive line play and a foot injury that he suffered against Ohio State. Morris played admirably in the bowl game, but when Michigan sought out a redshirt for Gardner after last season, it became apparent this job was his to lose.
Personally, I feel as if this “competition” was a way to keep Gardner on his heels. No disrespect to Morris, Wilton Speight, or Russell Bellomy, but we have all seen what Gardner is capable when healthy and the team is firing on all cylinders. Competition brings out the best in people, especially football players.
The theme of this offseason has been “growth.” It has to happen on several areas of this team from the top down, but the development of the quarterback position is one of the higher priorities. With Doug Nussmeier now calling the shots on the offensive side of the ball, we have reason to believe this will happen.