Orlando – Shane Morris, the hard-throwing left-handed quarterback, committed to Michigan when he was a sophomore at Warren De La Salle.
It has since been a unique ride for Morris.
He did not win the quarterback battle in preseason camp last August, as graduate-transfer Jake Rudock emerged as the starter, and Morris opted to take a redshirt this season, allowing him to have two years of eligibility left.
There has been speculation about Morris’ future, some wondering if he will transfer, but Morris said Wednesday during the Buffalo Wild Wings Day for Kids as part of the Citrus Bowl activities, his commitment to Michigan has never wavered.
Michigan will face Florida in the Citrus Bowl on Friday.
“I’m not going anywhere,” said Morris, who will graduate next year. “Michigan is where I committed to my sophomore year of high school, and I’m not planning on going anywhere.”
Morris has added about 10 to 12 pounds he said, and now carries 217 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame.
“I feel good now,” Morris said. “I feel bigger. I got a lot faster, been lifting a lot. I’m really getting a good understanding of the offense. Not playing and just watching and getting a lot of reps in practice and doing a lot of film work, it’s helped me understand the offense more and kind of be a master of it and understand what the coaches are wanting.
“Standing back with the coaches in practice watching Jake take the reps and hearing what they’re saying, it’s really helped me a lot with learning what they want out of the offense and what they want out of the quarterback. It’s helped me tremendously this year. It’s really been a good year. I’ve definitely seen myself get better this year."
Morris said he has learned plenty from first-year Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, a former UM and NFL quarterback.
Together they decided this plan for Morris.
“It was a mutual agreement,” Morris said. “Jake won the QB battle and I thought it would be best for me to get an extra year and use this year to improve, get better, get bigger, stronger, faster and learn the offense better. That’s what happened. I’m glad it happened. Obviously I wish I was playing, but the way things worked out, this was the best-case scenario.”
Harbaugh has a roster full of quarterbacks and early enrollee freshman Brandon Peters will arrive next week to begin classes and then participate in spring practice. Wilton Speight was the backup, and Houston transfer John O’Korn had to sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules and has run the demonstration team offense to much acclaim.
Morris said he has learned a lot from Rudock’s studious approach to the game and applauds the year he had leading Michigan to a 9-3 record.
“I wanted to play this year. That was my goal to be the starting quarterback, but that didn’t happen,” Morris said. “Jake’s had a great year and played really well and has some records at Michigan. I’m really proud of him. He’s an awesome guy and I’ve learned a lot from him and I’m happy for his success.”
Morris fully plans to be in the mix for the starting job at quarterback next fall.
“I didn’t take this year off for nothing,” Morris said. “I’ve got two years left and hopefully two more years to play quarterback here. That’s the plan.”