Writer: UM’s Shea Patterson top-three Heisman candidate

The Detroit News
Shea Patterson

A month ago, Shea Patterson wasn’t even sure he’d be able to play for Michigan in 2018. Now cleared by the NCAA for immediate eligibility following his transfer from Ole Miss, it’s still not a certainty he will be the Wolverines’ starting quarterback.

Yet, this week, the folks at NFL.com heaped some pretty grand expectations on Patterson.

College football writer Chase Goodbread listed him No. 3 out of 18 candidates for the 2018 Heisman Trophy.

“When the NCAA officially cleared Patterson for immediate eligibility a few weeks ago, following a transfer from Ole Miss, his Heisman candidacy was cleared for takeoff, as well,” Goodbread wrote. “In Patterson, coach Jim Harbaugh has a creative improviser at quarterback for the first time since he took over at UM.

“Patterson averaged more than 300 passing yards per game in seven contests last year for the Rebels before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Much of that production came outside the pocket, making big plays out of broken ones.”

Patterson, 21, found out in late April that he would be immediately eligible at Michigan — and learned of the ruling while the football team was on its spring trip to Paris.

“It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling right now,” Patterson told reporters April 28, in France. “It’s been a long time coming. I’m just thankful it’s over with and we get to move forward and focus on playing football.”

Patterson played two seasons at Ole Miss, throwing for 23 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. He completed 238 of 392 passes (60.7 percent), for 3,139 yards.

He decided to transfer from Ole Miss following the 2017 season, following the summer 2017 resignation of coach Hugh Freeze.

Goodbread lists West Virginia quarterback Will Grier No. 1 on his list, and Stanford running back Bryce Love No. 2.