|What happens when #16 is gone for good?|
Looking at next season there are 3 possible options for quarterback:
1. Senior Devin Gardner can finish his Michigan career under center even though he looks like the most talented receiver on next years depth chart.
2. Redshirt sophomore Russell Bellomy can have a full off-season to learn and develop and become the first Brady Hoke-recruited quarterback to play the position within the more traditional pro-style offense.
3. True freshman Shane Morris will be thrust into action before he really should be in hopes that his skill set is the best fit for the new offensive scheme.
Personally I'm not crazy about any of the above options. Gardner is easily the best athlete and brings an element to the offense that is the closest to what Denard has been doing for the past three seasons but is that really the goal at this point? Bellomy struggled mightily last night but one would think that a year of learning and preparing to be the starter might give him the mental edge and physical strength to play the position at an acceptable level. My issue is that I'm not convinced he actually has the physical talents to be a successful quarterback at Michigan. He was under a lot of duress last night, but when he wasn't, his arm strength just did not appear adequate on several throws. That is reason for concern. The third option is one that many "fans" seem to want but it might be the least realistic and the longest shot of the three. Don't get me wrong, Morris appears to have all of the tools to be great at some point in his career, but the odds of a true freshman quarterback coming in at 6'3" and under 200 lbs. having more success than Bellomy and Gardner is just not very likely. The facts are that Morris' Warren De La Salle High School team finished the regular season at 5-4 and was absolutely drilled in 3 of those losses for a combined score of 112-13. Morris played in 2 of those three games and completed just 17 of 38 passes for 194 yards with no scores and three interceptions. I'm sorry but those are not the box scores for a quarterback who is going to come in as a true freshman and dominate the Big Ten. I am not being negative or bashing Morris I'm just stating the facts and being realistic.
I hope we can all finally agree that Denard has spoiled us in many regards and next year is a bit up in the air at quarterback. Denard has made some bad throws and broken our hearts a few times throughout his career but he has done so much more good than bad and is by far the best option we have right now. The reality is that he will be gone next year and currently we don't seem to have a worthy replacement. Brady Hoke is recruiting at a ridiculous level and will have Michigan back in the top ten year in and year out before too long but we have to be realistic and realize Michigan is in a bit of a re-building phase right now. We need to be patient, support whoever ends up calling the shots for the offense, and have faith in the coaching staff. That's what we do....this is Michigan, fergodsakes.