ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The competition for Michigan‘s starting quarterback position has been whittled — at least for now — from three down to two.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh said incumbent first-teamer Wilton Speight and fifth-year senior John O’Korn are currently sharing first-team reps in practice. Harbaugh said at the outset of preseason camp that redshirt freshman Brandon Peters was also involved in a “three-way tie” for the job.
“It’s not to say anything is set in stone right now, but I think that the two guys have created a little bit of separation,” Harbaugh said Friday night at the end of his team’s second week of practice.
Speight started all but one game last season, throwing for 2,538 yards and winning nine games in the process. He injured his shoulder in November, making room for O’Korn’s first start as a Wolverine — a win against Indiana. The transfer from Houston completed 20 passes and threw two touchdown passes mostly in mop-up duty last year.
Peters has no college experience but impressed coaches and fans with his arm strength and athleticism in the spring. Harbaugh said last month that he wanted Peters to be louder and show more control of the offense to go along with his physical skills. He said Friday that Peters wasn’t out of the mix yet, but he was at the moment a step behind the other two.
“It’s just a process for him,” Harbaugh said. “He’s competing hard and doing good.”
In his first three years at Michigan, the former All-Pro quarterback turned head coach has kept the outside world guessing about his choice to lead the Wolverine offense up until opening kickoff of the team’s first game. Graduate transfer Jake Rudock won the job in Harbaugh’s first season. Speight ultimately beat O’Korn a year ago and later admitted that he was fairly well-established at the top of the depth chart for most of the month of August.
Michigan opens the season Sept. 2 against Florida at AT&T Stadium in Texas. The competition at quarterback isn’t likely to be narrowed any further until then.