Harbaugh still won’t name starting QB; all are ‘making big plays’

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
John O'Korn

That starting Michigan quarterback thing? Coach Jim Harbaugh still isn’t saying.

A day after Florida revealed redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks is its starting quarterback for Saturday’s opener against Michigan in Arlington, Texas, Harbaugh remains mum. Harbaugh made his weekly in-season appearance Thursday morning on the “Jamie and Stoney Show” on 97.1 The Ticket.

Harbaugh was asked who will start at quarterback for Michigan.

“Not revealing that to you this morning,” Harbaugh said, later adding the players know.

He praised the overall improvement of all of the quarterbacks – Wilton Speight, John O’Korn and Brandon Peters.

“They’ve all been great,” Harbaugh said. “The best thing about all three is they’re completing passes consistently, accurate, and they haven’t been turning the ball over. It’s been really good that way and making plays, making big plays. And very minimum with mistakes, mental mistakes. You can’t find a mistake. Both Wilton, John and Brandon have been really good that way. In all areas, been really good.”

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Other highlights from Harbaugh’s appearance on 97.1:

On whether there will be a “surprise” player: “Yeah. I think there could be a couple. Quite a few, actually. Without leaving somebody out, I’ll say that. Probably six or seven, even eight new players that may surprise you.”

On how different the prep is for Florida, which has suspended 10 players: “You’re aware who’s not going to be playing. You look to see who the next player up is. You plug that in, so you know what you’re looking at visually, their position number, etcetera, that’s about the way it’s been.”

On whether he likes neutral-site games: “It is where it is, but the neutral-site game, I’d be lying if to tell you I prefer it. I prefer playing in the college stadiums in Ann Arbor or one of our opponents.”

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On finishing third in the Big East the last two seasons. Is there a chip? “No. I personally never paid a lot of attention to predictions, so nobody’s really concentrating on it, if that’s what you’re asking. Getting ready for our first game. Been through camp, now we’re getting ready to play Florida. That’s where the focus is. … We would have liked to have been first place each year. We would have liked to have won those two games against Ohio State. Now we attack Year 3 with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”

On the upcoming debut of his podcast: “Basically, my dad and I we talk a lot, and wanted to share my dad with other people. We just thought people may be interested in those conversations and have conversations with other friends and family members. When we run out of friends, we’ll stop having a podcast.”

On the preseason roster controversy: “The whole roster thing is an unofficial thing. I don’t even keep the roster. The roster’s been kept through the administration. I never even kept the roster. All of a sudden people were asking for the roster. I said, ‘The team won’t be finalized until we can come back on Aug. 30 after we’ve had a couple days to say what the 130-man roster is going to be. Unfortunately, little known fact, but you’re only allowed 105 players to go to training camp. NCAA rule. It really should be more. The entire is made up of 130-plus, so we have 132 on the team right now. So the roster wasn’t finished. Didn’t have the complete roster until, in my mind, Aug. 30.”