Michigan pulls huge coup by landing Ole Miss QB Shea Patterson
Shea Patterson announced his intentions to transfer to Michigan early Monday afternoon, leaving Ole Miss for Ann Arbor to most likely become Jim Harbaugh’s starting quarterback for the 2018 season.
When Ole Miss was given another year of being banned from postseason play by the NCAA last month, it created the opportunity for players to be granted immediate eligibility if they wanted to transfer to other schools. However, players who will still be eligible in ’19 (when Ole Miss’s postseason ban will be over) will have to seek a waiver from the NCAA. Those waivers are highly likely to be granted.
Ole Miss initially put restrictions on transfers, denying players the ability to leave for other SEC schools or those that the Rebels play in non-conference games in 2018 and ’19. However, after receiving heavy backlash from both players’ families and the national media, Ole Miss relented and players can now transfer to any school.
And Harbaugh might be getting more than Patterson out of Oxford. When the former 5-star QB out of Texas visited Ann Arbor this past weekend, his Ole Miss teammates Van Jefferson and Deontay Anderson were with him.
Jefferson had 49 receptions for 543 yards and three touchdowns as a true freshman in 2016. He played 10 games for the 5-7 Rebels this year, hauling in 42 catches for 456 yards and one TD. Jefferson missed a 31-24 home loss to Texas A&M and the Egg Bowl win over Mississippi St. due to an injury.
Patterson also had his year cut short due to a knee injury sustained in a 40-24 home loss to LSU on Oct. 21. In the Rebels’ first seven games, Patterson completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 2,259 yards with a 17/9 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
As a true freshman in ’16, Hugh Freeze took the redshirt off of Patterson when Chad Kelly went down with a season-ending injury. Patterson started Ole Miss’s last three games, connecting on 54.5 percent of his throws for 880 yards with a 6/3 TD-INT ratio. He rushed for 169 yards on 41 attempts.
When Patterson went down vs. LSU, juco transfer Jordan Ta’amu started the last five games and played outstanding football. He completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,682 yards with an 11/4 TD-INT ratio. Ta’amu also ran for 165 yards and four TDs.
Ta’amu threw a game-winning TD pass to D.K. Metcalf with five seconds remaining in a come-from-behind win at Kentucky. He has one year of eligibility left and is expected to stick around for 2018.
As a true freshman in 2016, Anderson recorded 32 tackles, one interception and one tackle for loss. When the Rebels self-imposed a bowl ban for ’17, Anderson voluntarily took a redshirt season. This means he’ll have three years of eligibility remaining at whatever school he chooses.
Michigan had issues at QB while going 8-4 this season. In the five games when John O’Korn took most of the snaps, the Wolverines limped to a 2-3 record. The senior signal caller had three interceptions in a 14-10 home loss to Michigan St.
Harbaugh started three different QBs with the trio combining for a 9/8 TD-INT ratio. Wilton Speight will be back for his senior year to provide competition to Patterson along with rising third-year sophomore Brandon Peters, who had four TD passes without an interception as a redshirt freshman in ’16. Speight had three TD passes before being sidelined with a season-ending injury in late September, but he threw a pair of pick-sixes vs. Florida.