Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown met the media Wednesday. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News
Ann Arbor — Michigan has been in camp since last Friday, and while there has been no indication who will emerge as starting quarterback — and probably won’t be until the season kicks off Sept. 1 at Notre Dame — Shea Patterson has earned mighty praise.
Patterson transferred from Ole Miss last December and, after a drawn out transfer waiver process with the NCAA, was granted immediately eligibility to play this fall.
The quarterback competition this fall also includes Brandon Peters, who started late last season for the Wolverines, Dylan McCaffrey and freshman Joe Milton. But Patterson has the most starting experience and already has been mentioned nationally as a player who could be in Heisman consideration.
He made 10 starts at Ole Miss, including three as a freshman in 2016. A knee injury cut short his season last year. He had completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 2,259 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2017.
Peters was 57-of-108 last year for 672 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions
Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown, speaking Wednesday during the first media availability of camp, was asked about the challenges Patterson presents to his defense.
“He’s a veteran guy. He’s a confident guy,” Brown said. “He has the ability to do things with his legs. He’s got a quick release. I just like the guy. I just like him. He’s a good guy. He’s a confident guy as I said and a very good athlete. When you couple the ability to throw, the ability to maneuver and move around as an athlete and a guy that has experience, now — that’s piece gets overlooked, you know. ‘Oh, this guy is a good player. Let him player. Why isn’t he playing good?’ Why don’t you give him a chance to breathe and let him play good? How about that? Sometimes I think we forget about that.
“But this guy has played. He’s played a lot. He’s been in the soup at high levels, and I think that gives him general respect. But the way he goes about doing it, he’s certainly earned my respect. He came in and talked coverage today with the boss. He’s just a great kid. I’m excited to see him play against other people.”
Patterson practiced with the team during the spring and went on the trip to Paris. He has quickly acclimated to the program and with his new teammates. Running backs coach Jay Harbaugh said Patterson has clearly improved since the spring.
“You could tell he put in the work May, June, July until now,” Harbaugh said. “He definitely has improved his command of things, his understanding of where his different outlets are for the ball, formations, run game, all that stuff. And the same could be said for all the other quarterbacks, too.”