The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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40 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2016 BIG DECISION Quarterbacks Battle To Run The Show BY JOHN BORTON T he primaries are over. The conventions are done. It's almost time to make a choice for the most scrutinized, criticized, time-honored, lauded and lambasted job in America. Yes, the University of Michigan football team finds itself once again picking a quarterback. There's no incumbent. Only a handful of challeng- ers, seeking not votes but rather the approval of the men who last fall settled on Jake Rudock and helped him guide the Wolverines to a 10-win season. On Michigan's media day — one day prior to the start of fall camp — head coach Jim Harbaugh reaf- firmed that two had separated themselves in the fight to lead the attack. John O'Korn, the 6-4, 215-pound redshirt junior transfer from Houston, has 16 career starts under his belt, although none in a winged helmet. He sat out un- der NCAA transfer rules in year one of the Harbaugh era, rooming with Rudock and soaking up as much as he could. Wilton Speight, the 6-6, 243-pound redshirt sopho- more in his third season in Ann Arbor, can say he's actually helped the Wolverines win a game — the comeback scramble at Minnesota last year. He's never started for the Wolverines in six appearances, but he definitely finished one well. Now, it's all about leaving no doubt who should guide an offense loaded with weaponry. On media day, quarterbacks and receivers coach/passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch posed more pointed questions than answers. "The number one thing is, can you lead the team to score?" Fisch began. "Can you lead the team in prac- tice? Can you move the football? Not just in flashes, but have consistent good days, one after another after another after another. "Can you have a move-the-ball period that's un- scripted and go from the 20 to the 20 or the 50 to the goal line, wherever we start? Can you make first downs? The guy that does the most of that will really give us a great chance. At Minnesota last fall, redshirt sophomore Wilson Speight came off the bench to direct a seven-play, 40-yard, game-winning drive during which he completed 3 of 4 throws and capped it with a touchdown pass plus a two-point conversion toss. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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