Ex-teammate surprised by Rudock's lack of 'fight'

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Jake Rudock, a two-year starter at Iowa, is now bound for Michigan and in the mix for the starting job at quarterback as a graduate transfer.

But while Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who had demoted Rudock on an early depth chart released in January, signed Rudock's transfer papers with "no strings attached", at least one teammate seemed surprised by the move.

Michigan officially announced Rudock's addition to the team last week.

Drew Ott, an Iowa defensive end who has distinguished himself with his play not to mention his unusual style of dressing and unique modes of travel – he drove his moped 400 miles home to Nebraska – appeared Wednesday on the first day of a two-day Big Ten spring football conference call and was asked whether he was stunned by the news Rudock transferred.

"Yeah, I mean I thought he had a little more fight in him," Ott said during the conference call. "But I guess maybe an opportunity (came up) over there at Michigan. I don't know too much about it."

While Ott said Rudock is a smart quarterback and will learn the offense and know what to do.

When asked if Rudock is a leader, though, Ott was dismissive.

"I don't know, you'd have to ask someone else," he said.

Rudock threw for 2,436 yards last season and had 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. He ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten in completion percentage (61.7 percent).

He will join a competition at Michigan that includes junior Shane Morris, described by coach Jim Harbaugh as the frontrunner coming out of spring practice, redshirt freshman Wilton Speight, early enrollee freshman Alex Malzone, incoming freshman Zach Gentry. John O'Korn also has transferred to Michigan from Houston but must sit out this season.

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill earlier in the Big Ten call was asked about Rudock, a quarterback his Gophers have faced. Kill praised Rudock's athleticism and said he will do well at Michigan.

"Any time you can get out of the pocket and make plays, any time you have the ability to make a play that's not perfect and make it a good play is a good thing," Kill said.