Threet and Sheridan continue battle for QB 1
Michigan held a 100-play scrimmage Saturday and afterwards Coach Rod indicated that Steve Threet and Nick Sheridan have separated themselves. In the fall, true freshman Justin Feagin is also expected to be in the mix. All incoming freshmen players, including Feagin, are expected to be on campus by the end of June. Only four true freshmen have started a game at quarterback in Michigan Football history: Rick Leach (1975); Rich Hewlett (1979); Chad Henne (2004); and Ryan Mallett (2007). The competition for the starting job between Threet/Sheridan/Feagin will most likely not be decided until the week of the first game. Here is a little closer look at the top three players competing to be QB 1:
Steven Threet (So./Fr.)
When Mallett transferred to Arkansas, Threet was considered by many to be the heir apparent to the starting job at quarterback. Threet was rated the #12 prep player in the State of Michigan in the 2007 class by Scout.com. After a standout prep career at Adrian (MI) High School, where he threw for 4,824 yards and 49 touchdowns, Threet early enrolled at Georgia Tech in January, 2007. He left after one semester and transferred to Michigan for the Fall, 2007 semester. He redshirted last season because of the transfer and he has all four years of eligibility remaining. Threet is a prototypical drop-back passer but, as he likes to point out, he is familiar with the spread offense because his high school team ran a similar system. Nevertheless, a pro-style offense is the system that seems Threet would have the most success in. At 6'5", 228 lbs., Threet is not exactly fleet of foot although he is very athletic. Threet's inexperience is also a concern. He has never taken a single snap in a college game. If he was taking over the spot in Michigan's traditional pro-style offense, I would be concerned enough. It is always tough to start an inexperienced QB even under the best of circumstances. Add in the fact, however, that Threet is out of his element with respect to the running aspect of the spread offense and I am downright terrified as to how the offense might perform.
Nick Sheridan (Jr./So.)
The son of former Michigan defensive line and linebackers coach (2002-2004) Bill Sheridan, Nick accepted an offer from Coach Carr to join the team as a walk-on. Due to unexpected attrition- the transfer of Jason Forcier (spring, '07) & Ryan Mallett (Jan., '08)- Nick has advanced in the ranks. He even passed a scholarship player (David Cone) on the depth chart. As a result, the man who originally joined the team as a walk-on, is now challenging for the starting job. To this point in Spring Practice, Sheridan has been splitting the first team snaps with Threet. That is pretty heady stuff for a guy who did not receive ANY scholarship offers coming out of high school.
Justin Feagin (true freshman)
The only quarterback in this year's recruiting class, Feagin is the "hope" of many Wolverine fans. Unfortunately, I think the hope is misplaced. Feagin was originally recruited as a quarterback/athlete. He was considered a three-star prospect at QB and a two-star safety recruit. When Feagin was recruited, he was reportedly told that he would be given an opportunity to test his skills at quarterback, and if it doesn't work out, Feagin can settle in as a slot receiver. However, after Feagin committed to Michigan, the Wolverines were unable to land any more quarterbacks in the 2008 class. Thus, Feagin is the only game in town when it comes to a true dual-threat quarterback (unless you convert a postion player like Carlos Brown). The problem is that Feagin did not come here to be "THE MAN" at QB from day one. That was a responsibility that even super-recruit Terrelle Pryor did not want to shoulder. Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, was not "the man" at Florida in his freshman year of 2006 as he split time with Chris Leak. Yet, Michigan fans are expecting/hoping that a 3-star recruit can come in and deliver immediate results as the focal point of the offense. It is too much to expect. I predict that Feagin will get burnt out and request a shift to slot receiver by his sophmore campaign.
UPDATE ON 4/4/08: Angelique S. Chengelis (a/k/a "The Angel of the Big House") wrote in today's Detroit News that Coach Rodriguez may wind up rotating two or three quarterbacks as the starter next season. As for those fans who are surprised that Nick Sheridan (who originally joined the team as a walk-on) may eventually earn a start, just remember that Brian Griese (the starter on the 1997 National Championship team) was also originally a walk-on at Michigan. Go Blue!