Ann Arbor — Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock’s most recent performance caught the attention of coach Jim Harbaugh and was a career game-changer in his mind.
Rudock, the graduate transfer from Iowa, threw a career-best 337 yards in the Wolverines’ 49-16 victory last weekend. Michigan (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) is preparing to play at Indiana on Saturday.
Harbaugh, the former Michigan and longtime NFL quarterback, has been known for his ability to evaluate and mold quarterbacks. He saw Rudock’s game reach a new level against the Scarlet Knights a week after being knocked out of the Minnesota game late in the third quarter after a hard hit to the ribs.
He saw Rudock’s game advance to a different level, one that could lead to a professional future.
“I really felt like watching this game Jake played his best game and he looked an NFL-type quarterback, somebody that would have a future playing in that league the way he’s now playing and operating,” Harbaugh said Monday at his weekly news conference. “I see that jump that he’s made.”
Clearly, Rudock has become more comfortable in the offense and with his teammates.
After a three-interception game in the season-opener at Utah, Rudock has had four since then. He leads the Big Ten with a completion rate of 62.8 percent.
Harbaugh compared himself to a bird watcher who can distinguish birds by certain simple aspects.
“Just watching him with my own eyes, my own opinion,” Harbaugh said of Rudock. “I would compare it to, you see some of the bird watchers that can tell you what kind of bird it is, and species by the way it moves. I think they call it the (giss) of a bird. Just in my own eye, the (giss) of an NFL quarterback or not. After this game I’m seeing Jake that way.
“I saw it this week. I see him now, the things he does now, that’s an NFL quarterback to me.”