Michigan Football 2015 positional preview: Quarterbacks

(Rebecca Gallagher/MJ)
Shane Morris readies for a play vs. Minnesota in 2014. (Rebecca Gallagher/MJ)

The returnees

Shane Morris, junior

Passing stats: 5 G, 40 attempts, 14 completions, 128 yds, 0 TD, 3 INT, 35.0 pct.

Shane Morris has the most experience amongst returning quarterbacks. After a stellar spring in which he outperformed true freshman Alex Malzone in the spring game, Morris was named the leader of the competition sans Rudock.

He’s determined to keep it that way.

“I think I can win the starting job because I have the mentality to do so,” Morris told the Detroit Free Press at Michigan’s “Aerial Assault” quarterback camp. “Right now, it’s my job to lose. I’m just going to keep working hard and fend off any competitors that are trying to take it away from me.”

Morris played in five games last season, but his second career start will remain in infamy as the beginning of organizational fallout.

On Sept. 27 vs. Minnesota, then-Michigan coach Brady Hoke made the change fans were clamoring about, inserting Morris in at starter in place of Devin Gardner.

Morris totaled 41 yards of offense on 23 plays until taking a helmet-to-helmet hit early in the fourth quarter. He was taken out of the game and reinserted when Gardner’s helmet came off during a play.

The incident was immediately under the microscope of national media. Morris was diagnosed with a concussion three days later.

Although Morris is Michigan’s most-experienced returnee, he doesn’t necessarily have an edge. Each of his three years in Ann Arbor has featured a new offensive package.

And his public debut in Harbaugh’s (likely limited) spring game offense did not show promise. Morris struggled with accuracy in the spring game completing under 50 percent of his passes.

Wilton Speight and Russell Bellomy make signs from the sideline. (Ricky Lindsay/MJ)
Wilton Speight and Russell Bellomy make signs from the sideline. (Ricky Lindsay/MJ)

Wilton Speight, redshirt freshman

No stats accumulated

A long shot in last year’s quarterback competition, Speight found himself on the bench in 2014 as a redshirt.

We haven’t seen much of him since. Speight did not play in the spring game after suffering a leg injury during camp.

Last year, I was adamant in redshirting Speight and taking him over Morris in 2015 if Morris remained inexperienced. That’s the case this season, even with Morris having five more games of experience under his belt.

But Speight no longer has to compete with just Morris; there’s 10 quarterbacks on Michigan’s roster, headlined by Rudock.

It’ll be interesting to see which route Harbaugh goes, but the battle for quarterback no. 2 should be an intriguing one between Speight and Morris.

Ricky Lindsay

Ricky Lindsay was the Editor-in-Chief of The Michigan Journal during the 2015-2016 academic year. He has been a staff favorite over the years for his work. Ricky served as Sports Editor for two years before becoming Editor-in-Chief. He covered University of Michigan football for four years and was an advocate for UM-Dearborn involvement.