The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 31 of 83

No. 13 — John O'Korn, QB O'Korn has been waiting for this moment since the millisecond he opted to transfer out of the University of Houston and head north to Ann Arbor. He put his trust in Jim Harbaugh, the quarterback whisperer, along with QBs coach Jedd Fisch and the rest of the Michigan staff. A quarterback who has yet to start at Michigan — and who is locked in a battle for the job — is always a wild card on this preseason list. If he wins the job, he's prob- ably one of the top five most irreplaceable players. If he doesn't, he's still one play away from action, but likely farther down the list than lucky No. 13. O'Korn obviously carries more credentials than most QB challengers, given his year and a half of starting at Hous- ton, including 3,117 passing yards as a true freshman. His key to becoming and staying No. 1 is clear — avoiding turnovers. At the same time, he's not interested in playing scared. He knows Michigan figures to trot out a very strong defense in September, but that doesn't mean the U-M offense ought to shy away from being all it can be. "If anything, I'd say you're probably a little bit more aggressive," O'Korn said. "You can take more opportuni- ties, more shots that you wouldn't take if you know your defense has your back." Fisch sounds on board with that line of thinking. "You're always going to protect the football," he pointed out. "You're always going to say, 'Make the smart deci- sions.' But your approach in the way game management goes is a little different, of course. "We're going to train these quarterbacks like they've got to go win the game. We'll be able to tone it down, if need be." O'Korn, meanwhile, wants to set a tone — with his arm, his legs and his leadership. He's out to win a job … and then to win a lot. — John Borton Photo by Lon Horwedel 32 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2016

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