2016 Michigan Spring Football Preview: Quarterback

With Michigan’s spring practice beginning on Monday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, I will preview each position group starting here with the most important spot in the game, the quarterback position.

Overview 

The departure of 5th year senior Jake Rudock has national analysts thinking Michigan is just a quarterback away from being a Playoff contender. Well, those who follow UM football closely have been hearing that QB search isn’t much of one. Houston transfer John O’Korn has reportedly been the best quarterback on the roster since his arrival last summer. And though he’s expected to solidify the starting role throughout the spring and heading in to the summer, there are plenty of other talented players on the depth chart that will push him for that spot.

Pre-Spring Expected Depth Chart

  1. #8 John O’Korn, SR*
  2. #3 Wilton Speight, JR*
  3. #7 Shane Morris, SR*
  4. #12 Alex Malzone, SO*
  5. #18 Brandon Peters, FR

Name to Watch Closest 

O’Korn. Every team insider has heard and reported the emergence of J.Ok since he arrived on campus and now we’ll all be able to see what all of the fuss was about. He was the AAC Rookie of the Year in 2013 but took a step back his sophomore year and ended up being replaced by Greg Ward Jr. The physical tools are all there (big body, strong arm and athletic), he just needed to tighten up his decision making and vision. Enter Jim Harbaugh. If JH was able to work his magic on J.Ok like he did on Rudock, look out.

Don’t Forget About Me

Morris. Though Speight looks to be the backup going into camp, Morris is a bit of a forgotten man in this race and one to pay attention to. His physical talent is the best of the bunch but, as you’ve seen, that doesn’t always translate to the field. He needed to mature both on and off the field while improving his accuracy and poise. Did that happen during his redshirt year? We’ll see over the next month.

Breakout Prediction 

Peters. This would have been Zach Gentry but thanks to his move to tight end, I’m going with the true freshmen. The Avon high school standout in one of the most anticipated signees of the Harbaugh era and for good reason. Thanks to his natural talent, early enrollment and, oh yeah that whole #HarbaughEffect thing, I believe Peters has the highest ceiling in the 2016 class. But will we see it this spring? Though he’s expected to redshirt this fall, the staff will likely give him every chance to show out and develop with his teammates and under the their tutelage.

Who do you believe will leave spring ball as the starter? Backup? Breakout candidate? Add your predictions in the comment section below! 

Photo Credit: Brandon Brown/The Wolverine