QB Rudock: Talks with Harbaugh clinched deal

The Detroit News

Jake Rudock, Michigan's latest addition to its growing quarterback stable, said his conversations with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh made an enormous impact when it came to deciding whether to join the Wolverines.

Rudock was a two-year starter at Iowa and officially joined Michigan Thursday as a graduate transfer who has immediate eligibility. He visited Michigan last month during spring practice.

"Coach Harbaugh is very energetic," Rudock told mgoblue.com. "And I noticed right off the bat how involved he is in practices. I enjoyed our conversations, and one thing is for sure – when coach Harbaugh walks into a room, he changes the thermostat."

Jedd Fisch, Michigan's passing game coordinator and quarterbacks/receivers coach, has known Rudock since his days leading the St. Thomas Aquinas football team in south Florida. Fisch, while at the University of Miami, tried recruiting him.

Fisch told reporters during spring practice that protecting the football and avoiding turnovers is vital. Michigan struggled in that area last season with 18 interceptions to 10 touchdowns.

Last season, Rudock threw for 2,436 yards and had 16 touchdowns and five interceptions and ranked second in the Big Ten in completion percentage (61.7 percent).

"I treat the ball like gold," Rudock said. "It's special. The goal is to score more points than your opponents, and it's imperative to control the ball to do that. It's my job to get the ball to our playmakers and facilitate things for our athletes, letting them do what they do best."

Rudock, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten, is graduating from Iowa this spring with a degree in interdepartmental studies/multidisciplinary sciences. He will pursue a master's degree in movement science in Michigan's School of Kinesiology.

"I'll get to Ann Arbor right after (graduation)," Rudock said. "And I hope to get my playbook soon. I'll start studying it right away. There's plenty to learn."

Michigan had three scholarship quarterbacks participating in spring practice that concluded last Saturday – junior Shane Morris, the only returning quarterback with experience, emerged as the leader according to Harbaugh, and redshirt freshman Wilton Speight and early enrollee freshman Alex Malzone also took significant snaps. Zach Gentry, a freshman, will compete in fall camp, and John O'Korn, a transfer from Houston, will not be eligible this season but can practice with the team. O'Korn also played at St. Aquinas.