Looking to add some more craziness to what has already been a wild postseason in college football? Well, it wouldn’t be crazy off-the-field talk if it didn’t include Jim Harbaugh. And thanks to some NCAA violations, questions at the position, and plenty of other factors, the former #1 quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class and current Ole Miss sophomore, QB Shea Patterson may end up transferring to Michigan.
Before getting into the recent news, you have to go back to know about why Michigan has always been a factor for Patterson. Originally from Toledo and having family members in the Ann Arbor area, it’s been well documented that Patterson grew up a fan of the Wolverines. But he plans to be more than just a fan of the Wolverines.
Here’s what I wrote in the article about him receiving his offer back in June of 2014:
From early on, Michigan had been rumored to being in this one thanks to Patterson having family in the Ann Arbor area. With Nussmeier looking for a pro or duel threat guy, Patterson is the perfect mix. When he visits this summer, the staff has the chance to blow him away and possibly jump to the top of the list with Arizona.”
And then there’s what he told CBSSports’ Dennis Dodd in May:
Despite knowing W Speight since hs, despite born in Toledo, despite family UM season tickets, S Patterson says Harbaugh did not recruit him.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) May 30, 2017
Shea Patterson: “I had dreams of playing in the Big House.”
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) May 30, 2017
But not much was taken from those tweets besides the fact that Michigan potentially missed its chance at landing him in the first place. Oh well, move on. Right? Well, thanks to the most expected NCAA rules infraction in quite sometime, Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss were under investigation with nothing but bad news coming down the pipeline. But it wasn’t until the news of the NCAA adding a second year on to the program’s self imposed bowl ban started to come out that things started to heat up with Patterson and Michigan.
And it happened pretty quickly.
From the small things like Patterson following Jim Harbaugh and plenty of other Michigan accounts on Twitter, as well as Michigan’s graphic artist Aaron Bills following Patterson, to much bigger noise, like some rumors about the possibility of him transferring to the Wolverines growing from hearsay to several respected analysts and insiders hearing positive things about his chances of ending up in Ann Arbor.
The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb has been mentioning Patterson’s name on the transfer wire for nearly a month now, back when the Jacob Eason rumors were starting. Mentioning that he’d be “shocked” if Patterson didn’t look at the Wolverines if he decided to leave Ole Miss.
But Webb backed off of the positivity last week as he was hearing that there was not strong mutual interest between the two parties ($). Most believing it was more of Michigan’s decision.
And then the craziness of this college football postseason struck the situation and Webb’s gut found some antacids as his source close to the situation said things had taken a 180 and Michigan was still in play ($). He also touched on the transfer rules in-terms of immediate eligibility, which may end up being the make or break factor here:
My gut tells me that every school interested in Patterson has their respective compliance departments researching whether there is an avenue for Patterson to be deemed immediately eligible. NCAA transfer rules mandate guaranteed immediate eligibility only for players departing a school hit with a postseason ban that spans the duration of their remaining eligibility. Patterson doesn’t fall under that umbrella, but i’d be SHOCKED if compliance departments aren’t researching possible exceptions.”
Webb wasn’t the only person hearing good things about the possibility of this actually happening. When news broke on Saturday of Patterson getting permission from Ole Miss to seek a transfer, Ole Miss Spirit’s David Johnson mentioned that sources close to the Rebels program are hearing good things about Ann Arbor being his potential landing spot ($):
Well-placed sources also told the Ole Miss Spirit that Michigan is probably the favorite to land Patterson, if he does execute a transfer from Ole Miss.”
Rivals’ Ole Miss affiliate, Rebel Grove’s site editor, Chase Parham joined in as well. In his story on Ole Miss giving Patterson the green light to transfer, he mentioned that he’s been hearing very good things about Michigan for awhile:
Sources have indicated for weeks that Michigan is one school interested in the former five-star quarterback. Greg Biggins, a reporter for 247, said the Patterson family would like to have a decision by December 20.”
Parham also jumped onto The Wolverine’s message board to pitch the story and expanding on things, adding that there are rumors of Patterson already doing a little recruiting himself ($).
Part of the sudden change in feeling on Michigan’s side of things was rumored to be in part because of Harbaugh and his staff changing its tune on adding him to the roster and/or Wilton Speight’s transfer announcement. But the exact reasoning is unknown just yet.
There were the reports of the quarterbacks on Michigan’s roster, as well as the two 2018 commitments, being against bringing him in. But it’s unclear if that happened exactly or, if it did, is it cleared up now? T
The Wolverine Lounge’s Brandon Justice has also mentioned a possible holdup being a list of some expectations from Patterson, which now looks to have been worked out. Justice also mentioned that he’s been hearing positive things on Michigan’s chances to land the former #1 quarterback recruit.
One thing that may have been a part of the things Patterson was looking for in a school was the chance to continue being a part of the same program as his brother, Sean (who is the Associate Director of Recruiting Operations at Ole Miss).
247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong dropped a note on the TheMichiganInsider message board on Saturday, as he’s been hearing from an outside source about the possible addition of the older Patterson to the Michigan staff ($).
Can Michigan find the loophole? Would the NCAA clear the move with or without his brother involved? Those are just two of the many questions out there regarding Patterson possibly ending up at Michigan. And it doesn’t even include the potential impact it would have on the current quarterbacks on the roster and the two committed to the 2018 class.
Stay tuned as this smoke may turn into fire quickly. If the Patterson’s stick with the December 20th plan, like reported by Rebel Grove, news about visits should come out soon.
As for my take on the possibility of Shea Patterson transferring to Michigan, I think you absolutely do it if he’s eligible immediately.
While I believe Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton all have NFL potential, bringing in an uber-talented quarterback to compete in camp for the starting job could completely change the 2018 season outlook. Michigan will return the majority of its two-deep and may be a quarterback away from being a true playoff contender.
Add in the possibility of Patterson going into the draft after a successful 2018 season and his addition to the roster wouldn’t be much different than if Wilton Speight had stayed for his 5th year. But before completely diving into what he’d mean for the future of the program and the other players on the depth chart, he’ll have to choose Michigan and, maybe more importantly, Michigan will have to choose him.
At this point, it’s looking like it just may happen.
What are your thoughts on the possibility of Patterson coming to Michigan? Do you agree with me that it depends on his immediate eligibility or not? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports