Assuming Patterson starts, a Harbaugh recruit will not have entered the season as a starter...after 5 years.

Submitted by ScooterTooter on January 2nd, 2019 at 10:57 AM

Gentry leaving got me thinking: 

So far, Harbaugh has started (and we would all assume, next year plans on starting):

Rudock (Iowa transfer)

Speight (Borges recruit)

Patterson (Ole Miss transfer)

Also, his first QB off the bench in both 2016 and 2017 was O'Korn. 

In the meantime, he personally has brought in 5 4* QBs...none who have played QB at any point other than as back-ups or garbage time. 

Personally, I think each decision was defensible. Hoke/Borges were a disaster when it came to recruiting QBs, so wanting to bring in a few older guys (Rudock & O'Korn) to bolster the early years made sense. Also, having a former 5-star who was transferring not because he lost his job, but because of sanctions makes sense as well, especially after the Speight transfer and Peters' bowl performance. 

However, I am starting to wonder if this has been a quick fix that trades short term success for long term success. 

For instance, while I understand the need for Rudock in year one, if John O'Korn is not brought in, Brandon Peters is the back-up QB. How much quicker does he develop if that is the case? How much can you blame someone for being frustrated to be placed behind someone who, if we are being generous was...not good? Peters did not look bad behind an awful OL in 2017 and even played well against Wisconsin before being injured. His bowl performance was terrible, but I've heard he really didn't get full practice time beforehand and was probably not 100% coming off the injury. 

Does someone like Gentry ( play QB? A 6'7" QB who can move? What does a QB battle of Speight, Gentry and Peters look like if the staff isn't forcing him to play TE? 

And while Patterson was very good for most of the he really ideal for the Harbaugh system? Don't the ideas of Peters, McCaffrey and Gentry fit more into the Harbaugh mold? Bigger QBs who can move (Luck, Smith, Kaepernick)? Once someone is the starter, they are often entrenched, so someone with more experience, such as Patterson is probably not relinquishing the job barring injury, thus setting back the other QBs who might be a better fit for Harbaugh's offense.

And how does it affect recruiting when none of your recruits 

I tried to do some research on how QB transfers affect programs, but there isn't much out there. I am curious to glean what the board thinks and if its unusual to go this long without one of your recruits starting at QB. 



January 2nd, 2019 at 1:59 PM ^

Stats show that every year he was starting in college he improved.. I’m not sure why you all want to make it seem like he was a bum and Harbaugh turned him into a top QB .. Harbaugh gave him another year and he continued his progression.. 


January 2nd, 2019 at 1:49 PM ^

tl;dr for the whole thread:

* ScooterTooter is fixated on the universe where Gentry stays at QB. He believes that, in this universe, Gentry would win the job and prosper.

* ScooterTooter believes that a coach would willingly risk @#$&ing away a season just to play the long game and develop a young QB who would otherwise be 2nd/3rd/4th string.


January 2nd, 2019 at 10:59 AM ^

I don't even really know what "ideal for Harbaugh's system" looks like anymore. How would Andrew Luck have looked behind last year's line? 


January 2nd, 2019 at 11:09 AM ^

We have no idea what McCaffrey will look like as a full time player. And Milton looks like he has a long long ways to go to be a good starter. 

But the op is making a point I have questions about too. Harbaugh has taken 3 transfers who have gotten the Lion’s share of the PT. And what if he takes another QB transfer?  If there’s a kid out there he likes he’ll go after him regardless of how he feels about the guys in the pipeline. How long until kids think twice about committing to us as a QB when a transfer will likely start?  


January 2nd, 2019 at 11:15 AM ^

Let's cross that bridge if he takes another transfer.  Pulling Rudock and O'Korn was a no-brainer, we had Speight on the roster and tumbleweeds.  Obviously putting Gentry at Tight End worked out, he just declared early and is going to be a fairly high pick.  McCaffrey is in line to start as a redshirt Junior which is kind of ideal.

We have a lot of problems but I don't think the QB pipeline is one of them.


January 2nd, 2019 at 11:34 AM ^

Agree completely. 

Taking transfers to shore up QB depth was essential. Hoke and Borges/Nuss left nothing behind but the ghost of Shane Morris and a who-the-hell-is-that Wilton Speight. 

And maybe we got spoiled by Henne and Denard, but a 3+ year starter at QB is relatively rare for a pro style team. QB is a HARD position. 

[There's a debate to be had here about the benefits of an Urban-style system of "have athletes make plays" which can lend itself to young QBs, but we can do that later)


January 2nd, 2019 at 1:43 PM ^

Lets also not act like this is a different time in CFb. Before, high end QBs didn't transfer. Now they do. Every off season, at least one or two experienced QBs are available. If you can get a proven commodity at QB, you do it. In fact OSU may do it this year. And how many young 5 star can't miss kids not live up to the hype? McCaffrey looks real good so far and I think he is the real deal... but you never know


January 2nd, 2019 at 1:20 PM ^

We had no idea what Patterson would look like in this offense yet after seeing it I’m sure Dylan and Brandon could have equaled what he did and probably surpassed it... Point being give them a chance instead you recruit them then without giving them a legit shot you bring in someone to replace them


January 2nd, 2019 at 11:03 AM ^

I guess this assumes that Shea Patterson made a blood oath when he was 7 that, if he ever transferred from his first school in college ball, he had to go to Michigan, or else face the punishment of death. Otherwise people would wrongly think that after he left Ole Miss he was a free agent that schools had to recruit.


January 2nd, 2019 at 11:05 AM ^

You're right. People complain about Harbaugh going after transfer QBs, but I think this is just another example of him being at the forefront of college football (in some ways). 

Harbaugh get's five star Shea to Michigan = "Why can't Harbaugh develop his own recruits?!"

OSU is targeting Georgia's transfer QB = "Damn, why can't we ever have nice things!!!!!!"


January 2nd, 2019 at 11:42 AM ^

That's not the point. 

To condense:

Does it harm the development of the recruits here? 

Does bringing in a guy who is good, but might not be ideal for the offense you want to run stunt your long-term success by holding off a guy who might have a lower initial floor but higher long-term ceiling?

Does it affect recruiting if your recruits never play? I know, someone said "But Oklahoma!". Sure. But Oklahoma's QBs have won conference titles, played in the playoffs and won Heismans. Baker Mayfield was the #1 overall draft pick. Slight difference between the success rates. 



January 2nd, 2019 at 11:58 AM ^

Does it hurt recruiting? Possibly. Look at the QBs that Harbaugh has landed since Dylan. They're a clear step down (sorry Milton). Does it harm development? Probably not, since starting a QB too soon can ruin them mentally. Does it stunt our long term success? Possibly, but no more than getting ruined by OSU in the biggest game of the year. 




January 2nd, 2019 at 12:08 PM ^

The original post is really picking the fly shit out of pepper.  Who cares?   The gross deficiency in QB at the time Harbaugh took a job made a transfer mandatory. Period.  Then you have a transfer that was the number one or two QB recruit in the country express interest in coming to Michigan, and now you’re expressing doubt that Harbaugh can develop quarterbacks?  Doesn’t matter how good a mechanic you are, you can’t turn a VW bug into a competitive Formula 1 car.