Shea Patterson will transfer to Michigan, he announced Monday on Twitter.
"Thank you to the wonderful people, teammates and coaches at Ole Miss," Patterson wrote. "It is a special place and I will always have great memories of my experiences in Oxford. I am now excited to announce my commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at The University of Michigan. It’s time to go to work."
Patterson, who spent his first two seasons at Ole Miss, visited Michigan over the weekend along with two other potential Ole Miss transfers, Deontay Anderson, a safety, and receiver Van Jefferson.
The three players are exploring transfer options in light of Ole Miss’ latest NCAA sanctions that include missing another bowl next season on to of a self-imposed bowl ban this season.
Patterson, the No. 1-rated quarterback in the 2016 class, played in seven games at Ole Miss this fall before suffering a posterior cruciate ligament injury. The 6-foot-2, 203-pound sophomore completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 2,259 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
It is unclear whether Patterson will be immediately eligible to play next season. The NCAA waived the transfer rule for rising seniors at Ole Miss allowing them to play right away, but Patterson will be a junior.
If he is eligible to play, he would begin competing this spring for the starting job with redshirt freshman Brandon Peters and freshman Dylan McCaffrey.
ESPN college football analyst Greg McElroy, the former Alabama quarterback, told The Detroit News last week he thinks Patterson will flourish under Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
“This kid is extremely special when it comes to being able to improvise,” McElroy said in a telephone interview Thursday. “One thing I think that has held Michigan back, in today’s game, it’s hard to expect quarterbacks to operate solely in the offense. Shea’s best qualities are creating on his own. Sometimes that gets him in trouble, but for the most part he’s an electric player.
“With Jim Harbaugh’s leadership and tutelage, he could be a real a star.”
Michigan Wolverines lineman played with the quarterback at IMG Academy. Angelique S. Chengelis
Patterson was born in Toledo, and his grandfather, George Patterson, played for the Detroit Pistons in the 1960s. His family moved to Texas when he was in fifth grade, and then to Louisiana. He completed his high school career at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. That sounds familiar to Michigan fans for many reasons, considering that’s where Harbaugh took the team for the final week of spring practice in 2016, and freshman offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, the No. 1 center out of high school, was Patterson’s center at IMG.
Ruiz hosted Patterson, Anderson and Jefferson during their visit at Michigan over the weekend. Ruiz said it was like a high school reunion with Patterson, who he thinks would make a smooth transition.
“I think he’d be a good fit in anybody’s program,” Ruiz said. “He a great quarterback.”