Harbaugh expects a quarterback to emerge in summer

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Macomb — Michigan's opener is less than three months away, and camp begins in early August.

But now's the time for the quarterbacks to make their marks during summer conditioning and workouts.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, shortly after delivering a lengthy, spirited talk Friday to an estimated 1,500 high school campers at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp at Dakota High School, spoke to reporters about where his team stands.

Junior Shane Morris is the only returning quarterback with experience from last season's team, and Jake Rudock, a two-year starter at Iowa, has transferred to Michigan. Redshirt freshman Wilton Speight and freshman Alex Malzone, who enrolled early, and Zach Gentry will compete, and Houston transfer John O'Korn will practice but must sit out the season.

Harbaugh declared Morris the leader after spring practice, and sounded confident someone will emerge after summer workouts.

"That's the thing about every college football program I've ever been associated with is that somebody will emerge over the summer," Harbaugh said. "Somebody will make themselves better. It could be two guys, but it could just be one. Somebody who makes a significant jump over the summer, because quarterbacks are allowed to work at the game by themselves.

"They can go practice football without needing a receiver or a center or anybody else. It's a position like a kicker, they can go out and kick and get better. (It's) like shooting free throws or throwing at a tree or throwing through a tire. There's a lot that can be done, and it usually takes place. We'll be excited to see who that is."

Harbaugh has no timetable on making a decision.

"I haven't decided how long it will be," he said. "We're going to roll the balls out there and let them compete for it and the best guy will win, just like it's always been since the inception of football, back when they started having leather helmets, back when they had jersey numbers on the back of uniforms. Competition and the best player wins the job. No politics, no favoritism, no bullcrap, just whoever goes out and plays the best.

"There will be a time we name a starting quarterback."

The players are working out this summer with strength coach Kevin Tolbert.

"I see guys physically looking better," Harbaugh said. "I see a pep in their step, too. I see a bounce in their step. I think I like the direction of things."

Cornerback commits

Michigan concluded its multi-state "Swarm Tour" on Friday at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp. The tour began last Thursday, and the Wolverines collected four commitments during that time.

Friday they added Atlantic High (Delray Beach, Florida) cornerback Antwaine Richardson. He is the 11th commitment to the 2016 class.

Richardson, a 6-foot, 165-pound three-star player, chose Michigan over Wisconsin, Rutgers, Wake Forest and West Virginia, among others.

Crossing borders

Harbaugh refused to answer questions about his "Swarm Tour," but did say he enjoys the camp experience, even seeing coaches here from around the country.

"I've always thought of it that way — it's always been my America," Harbaugh said, smiling. "You're allowed to cross the border. There are no restrictions crossing state borders."

Extra points

Michigan didn't select captains before last season under coach Brady Hoke, opting to wait until after the season.

Harbaugh said this year the team will vote on captains 10 days before the opener, which is at Utah on Sept. 3.

... Michigan officials announced noon start time for home games against Oregon State (Sept. 12) and UNLV (Sept. 19). The Oregon State game will be on ABC, and the Big Ten Network will televise the UNLV matchup.