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Notebook: Harbaugh talks Rudock

BY DANNY PAYNE and JORDAN HANSEN | APRIL 17, 2015 5:00 AM

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Although Michigan’s spring practice ended at the beginning of April, and it has a No. 1 quarterback in Shane Morris, that doesn’t mean former Hawkeye quarterback Jake Rudock is going to sit on the bench all season in Ann Arbor.

On Thursday’s Big Ten teleconference, new Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said once Rudock, a graduate-transfer, enrolls at Michigan after graduating from Iowa at the end of the current semester, he will compete for a job.

“It’s really good for him academically and really good for him athletically in terms of the opportunity to compete for a role, whether it be a starting role — I know that’s where his goals are aligned,” Harbaugh said. “I’m excited to see it play out.”

Behind Morris, a junior who has thrown for a total of 389 yards in limited time with the Wolverines, Michigan has seven other quarterbacks on its roster, none of which are seniors.

With Rudock’s two years of starting experience, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see the Florida native starting for the Wolverines this season. He would likely serve as a bridge-player before Harbaugh — seen by many as a “quarterback whisperer” — gets his first recruiting class into Ann Arbor.

Currently headlining that class is rivals.com’s No. 5-ranked quarterback in the 2016 crop, Brandon Peters. Peters is a pro-style quarterback from Avon, Indiana, and has given a solid verbal to Michigan.

Wednesday also marked one of the first times Harbaugh spoke with the national media regarding Rudock. Harbaugh said he personally didn’t have contact with Rudock before his decision was made, but the university did.

“There was an opportunity, a mutual interest, with our program and a few specific youngsters, so we did it,” Harbaugh said. “I expect there will be very good competition, an experienced player who is hungry to compete — that could be good.”

Quarterback controversies

It speaks a lot to Urban Meyer’s coaching ability in that he was able to win a national championship with third-string quarterback Cardale Jones after Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett both went down with injuries.

A year later, the Buckeyes have a quarterback controversy that makes the Rudock/C.J. Beathard saga look just plain silly.

For what it’s worth though, Meyer said in Thursday’s Big Ten teleconference that he has a timetable for when he’d like to make the decision.

“I think the middle of training camp,” Meyer said. “That’s because every one of them deserves that opportunity, and right now two of them aren’t getting it — by the middle of training camp you have to at least have a handle on this thing.”

For the moment, however, it seems that Jones is in the driver’s seat, and Meyer said he has had a strong spring. It’s certainly hard to find a case against Jones, especially considering he led the Buckeyes to postseason wins over Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon — an impressive feat.

The Buckeyes this season will attempt to win back-to-back championships, something that Meyer has never done.

“This will be the third time that we’ve tried to repeat,” he said. “That word doesn’t show up very often. We don’t even have conversations about that around here.”


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