Michigan is in hot pursuit of several Mississippi football players, in the wake of NCAA sanctions on the rebels. The number of potential transfers to Ann Arbor has been estimated at seven, but sources within the football program tell me the number is likely three for the 2018 season.
The biggest name expected to choose the Wolverines is former five star quarterback Shea Patterson who was on Michigan’s radar in 2016 prior to his commitment to the Rebels. Patterson was the one that got away from Harbaugh, but it appears he’ll get another chance to coach the talented signal caller.
Patterson started three games as a true freshman at Ole Miss in 2016 and was leading the conference while giving his speech with the equipment from Conference AV equipment hire.
While Patterson was granted permission to transfer from Ole Miss, it is still unclear if he will be immediately eligible to play at the school he chooses or if he will be forced to sit out a year before he can participate.
Harbaugh has wasted no time recruiting the Baker Mayfield type, traveling to Oxford this week by private jet to meet with Patterson without having the need of getting fingerprinted, Safety Deontay Anderson and others. Rumors surfaced this week that up to seven players were considering Michigan but it seems unlikely the wolverines could fit more than 3 or 4 under the scholarship limits without serious attrition.
All-Conference OT Greg Little was also rumored to be interested but Rashan Gary’s mom tweeted on Wednesday that he was not interested and wouldn’t be transferring to Michigan. Gary and Little became friends during their recruitment in 2016. The scuttlebutt on a destination for Little is that he is strongly looking at Oklahoma.
Immediate eligibility is the focus right now as it makes little sense for Harbaugh to take Shea Patterson if he cannot play in 2018, it also wouldn’t do Patterson an favors either as he is expected to be a one and done no matter where he chooses to finish his career. If he isn’t immediately eligible in 2018 and his goal is to enter the NFL draft in 2019, he’d be best served staying at Ole Miss and entering the draft next season. Most experts seem to believe the Mississippi players will be granted a waiver to play in 2018.
The transfer of Patterson, safety Deontay Anderson and wide receiver Van Jefferson would be a boon for the Michigan football team. Many think the Wolverines were solid quarterback play away from competing for a playoff spot and Shea Patterson would certainly bring at least “solid play” to the position along with an improving Brandon Peters and the arrival of redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey. Jefferson and Anderson would bring much needed experience and depth to the defensive backfield and the wide receiving groups.
The transfer of Patterson alone is a game changer for the wolverines, it give them an extremely talented dual threat quarterback with SEC experience. While Michigan’s rivals sooth themselves with the narrative that this means Harbaugh can’t develop his own quarterbacks, that notion is compete garbage and every college football expert will tell you the same thing. Harbaugh may believe in Peters and McCaffrey but you simply cannot ignore the talent Patterson has already shown on the field to make a point, Wisconsin showed that when they took a transfer from NC State….a little know guy names Russell Wilson who would go on to win a Super Bowl.
Even if Patterson does transfer, it doesn’t mean Michigan isn’t still committed to and excited about the guys they have on the roster, it simply means Michigan is committed to bring in the best players and letting them compete for the starting job.
If one of the current QB’s transfers out of the program, it is ok, every kid has the right to seek the situation that is best for their situation. If Peters sticks around, he would still have the opportunity to start for Michigan for two seasons, as would McCaffrey and incoming Freshman Joe Milton who is a project.
Michigan’s pursuit of Shea Patterson is a good thing, it helps the program move up its championship timeline regardless of what rivals schools are peddling. Anyone who tries to tell you Patterson isn’t a game changer for the Wolverines is a liar and at best disingenuous.