Michigan gets a better look at quarterback future without Wilton Speight

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan’s experienced stable of quarterbacks shrinks with the departure of Wilton Speight.

With Speight leaving Michigan, Brandon Peters is the clear No. 1 quarterback going into 2018. Instead of having to beat out Speight and John O’Korn, he will have to hold off Dylan McCaffrey, Alex Malzone and incoming freshmen Joe Milton and Kevin Doyle.

Speight’s  transfer means that Michigan will lose its most experienced quarterback. Speight passed for 3,192 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in three seasons with the Wolverines, after redshirting in 2014.

Speight’s departure means Michigan will have to turn to a quarterback who has, at best, a fraction of the experience Speight has or who has, at worst, no experience as a college quarterback.

What it means for Speight

Speight has the opportunity to move on, to work with another quarterbacks coach and another offensive coordinator, and to capitalize on his final year of eligibility.

Speight sat out Michigan’s final eight games due to cracked vertebrae, an injury sustained Sept. 23 against Purdue. He was cleared to resume practicing earlier this month, but has been in non-contact workouts since being cleared, and wasn’t in uniform for the Wolverines’ 31-20 loss to Ohio State on Saturday. Speight also sustained a shoulder injury last season, and reportedly underwent surgery.

Speight also has the opportunity to seek out a program that provides him the best opportunity to be a starter in his final college season, whether it’s at the FBS or at the FCS level.

The program that lands Speight will gain a quarterback who has worked with a former NFL quarterback in Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, and two passing-game coordinators with NFL coaching experience in Jedd Fisch and Pep Hamilton. However, with two passing-game coordinators in three seasons, Speight had to learn the different dynamics of working with each coach’s personality and coaching style.

What it means for Michigan

Michigan will find out what its future at quarterback looks like as it prepares for its bowl game in December, without Speight and John O’Korn, who exhausts his eligibility after this season.

Brandon Peters was expected to compete with Speight to become Michigan’s starter in 2018. Instead, he became Michigan’s starter in the final month of the regular season, following Speight’s injury and O’Korn’s subpar performances in four starts.

Peters, a redshirt freshman, is 37-for-64 passing for 486 yards and 4 touchdowns this season, and hasn’t thrown an interception. Speight has not clarified whether he will join the Wolverines for their bowl game next month. If he does not, Michigan will turn to Peters or Malzone, a redshirt sophomore.

Entering spring practices, Peters will be the player to beat. He has the most starts (3) of Michigan’s two returning quarterbacks from this year’s roster: Malzone and McCaffrey.

Malzone’s playing time has been minimal in two years at Michigan. McCaffrey is a freshman who primarily has worked out with the Wolverines’ scout team and is expected to redshirt the 2017 season. His only experience is at the high school level. McCaffrey threw for 2,796 yards and 31 touchdowns on 204-for-306 passing, and was intercepted 5 times in 2016 at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Two true freshmen will join Michigan in 2018: Milton, a 4-star, pro-style recruit from Orlando, Fla., who will enroll next semester; and Doyle, a 3-star, pro-style recruit from Washington, D.C., who will join the Wolverines in the summer.

The post Michigan gets a better look at quarterback future without Wilton Speight appeared first on Land of 10.

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