Harbaugh: Wilton Speight welcome to return to Michigan

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor – Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has not ruled out the possibility of quarterback Wilton Speight, who announced after last season he would transfer for his graduate season, returning to the Wolverines, but Speight hasn’t discussed that possibility.

Speight started the last two seasons, but he was sidelined after suffering three fractured vertebrae in the Big Ten opener at Purdue on Sept. 23.

 During his weekly “The Harbaugh’s Podcast”, Harbaugh spoke briefly about the Michigan quarterbacks in spring practice, he touched on Speight and said he could return.

“I don’t rule it out completely,” Harbaugh said. “He’s weighing some options … but hasn’t closed the door on coming back.”

Speight, who graduated from Michigan on Dec. 17, told The Detroit News the door was never shut.

“We haven’t had any discussions where I’ve asked to come back, but he has reminded me the door is open every time we’ve spoken,” Speight told The News on Tuesday.

“He said that the door would be open ever since the day I told him I’m leaving. I love coach and that team and Ann Arbor and that won’t ever change.”

Speight has been working out in southern California as he considers his options. He said in January that he could decide as late as June.

When Speight revealed his decision to leave, there was mixed reactions among the Michigan fan base. Some understood the decision, others took exception to it.

“I don’t put much, if any, stock into that type of stuff,” Speight said. “While those three losses by a total of five or so points stung (at the end of 2016), I was happy to never lose on Main Street as a starter. I have no bitterness toward any of those fans that hate.”

Meanwhile, Michigan awaits word on whether the NCAA will waive the transfer rule and allow Shea Patterson, an Ole Miss transfer quarterback, to be immediately eligible to play this fall. Patterson did not transfer to Michigan until after Speight had announced his decision to transfer. Brandon Peters, the starter late last season, returns, as does Dylan McCaffrey, who redshirted last season.