Speight: Transfer from UM nothing to do with Harbaugh

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Wilton Speight said Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was surprised after learning Speight’s decision to leave the Wolverines as a graduate transfer.

Speight, who announced his decision via social media Sunday night, a day after Michigan’s regular-season concluded, spoke to WXYZ’s Brad Galli on Monday. Speight started the first four games of the season, but suffered three fractured vertebrae in the Big Ten opener Sept. 23 at Purdue and did not play again.

“Initially he asked me, ‘Was this something I did? Is this something between us that I can fix or we can talk through?’” Speight told WXYZ of his conversation with Harbaugh.

“I told him I don’t want you to think this has anything to do with you or about our relationship, because obviously you’re gonna butt heads with your coach — especially when he was so successful at this very position at Michigan. Yeah, we butted heads every once in a while, but it made our relationship stronger and he had my back through literally everything.”

Speight knows there has been talk he’s leaving because it appears redshirt freshman Brandon Peters has locked in on the starting job, and he does not want to endure another quarterback competition, this time with Peters and freshman Dylan McCaffrey. Speight was the full-time starter last season and won the job again in camp this year.

“It was a whole other competition again,” Speight told the station. “It wasn’t that I’m not coming back because of the competition thing, and I think that’s what a lot of people maybe think. I’ve done that. I’ve proven time and time again that I love competition, and came out on top two years in a row.”

Since he made his announcement, Speight said programs have reached out to him. He wants to decide on his destination within the month.

“I’ve been here for four years, and it’s just one of these feelings where it’s just time, I think, to move on,” Speight said.”It didn’t come down to anything in particular. It was just really a gut feeling where I had to leave home.”