UM’s John O’Korn: ‘I’m most NFL-ready’ QB in draft
Ann Arbor — Former Michigan quarterback John O’Korn believes he is NFL-ready in large part because of his training at Michigan under head coach Jim Harbaugh and the offensive staff.
O’Korn participated in Pro Day at Michigan on Friday after spending the last several months in southern California training with quarterback guru Steve Calhoun, and he said he is 100 percent physically after being “pretty banged up for most of the year with some undisclosed injuries.” O’Korn, who started four games last season and played in 10, would not detail the injuries.
In his conversations with scouts and NFL teams, O’Korn’s pitch has been focused on his football IQ.
“Honestly, I think I’m the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft just as far as terminology, and knowing what to do on a day-to-day basis, game-planning,” O’Korn said Friday. “I was part of the game-plan meetings with coach Harbaugh, coach (Pep) Hamilton, the whole staff, coach (Tim) Drevno, all last fall, so just on a day-to-day basis what it takes to be an NFL quarterback, I think I would choose myself over any other guy in this draft in that regard.”
O’Korn came in for injured starter Wilton Speight in the Big Ten opener at Purdue. He played in 10 games last season and completed 53.5 percent of his attempts and threw two touchdowns and had six interceptions. He transferred to Michigan from Houston where he was the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2013. He threw for 3,117 yards and led all true freshman nationally with 28 touchdowns.
He was hopeful after his Pro Day workout that he turned some heads.
“Trying to make one team like me. At the end of the day whether it’s 32 teams or one team that like you, you can only go to one camp,” he said. “That was the goal, to make an NFL roster. That’s going to be the goal from here on out.”
O’Korn thinks it Is realistic he will get a look in a camp.
“That’s all I really can ask for,” O’Korn said. “Whether I get drafted or picked up as an undrafted free agent, that’s really not up to me, but I’m going to come in, I’m going to work and I’m going to be the best at whatever they expect me to do.”
He played in the NFLPA game after Michigan’s season concluded and was able to spend time with NFL scouts and coaches. Then he headed to Los Angeles to get healthy and in shape for pro day.
Since the NFLPA game and talking to scouts after pro day, O’Korn said he has had a lot of good feedback.
“I won’t go into specific teams or anything,” O’Korn said. “Don’t want to speculate myself. Just talking to a lot of guys who have gone through it, especially Jake Rudock who has been my best friend since we roomed together a few years ago, you think you’re going to go one place or you think a team’s going to draft you or you think you’re going to be a free agent, it happens completely unexpectedly. Not trying to get my hopes up about any certain destination or draft day or free agent, just ready for whatever comes.”
During the process of preparing for the NFL draft, O’Korn said he spent time reflecting on the game and learning it from his father, Gary.
He also has reflected on his time at Michigan.
“It was an inexperience I would never trade for the world,” O’Korn said. “I had a lot of, similar to my experience at Houston, I had a lot of ups and downs and a lot of praise and a lot of hate, whatever you want to call it, but it’s made me who I am today, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Really grateful for my time here.
“I feel like I’m so far ahead from where I would have been if I hadn’t had that experience.”