Former Ole Miss starting quarterback Shea Patterson announced earlier this week that he is transferring to Michigan, and while the Wolverines have said Patterson will have to earn it, he is expected to be their starting quarterback last season.
Patterson chose to transfer following the NCAA sanctions Ole Miss received last week and also considered Florida, LSU, and UCLA before deciding on Michigan. The Toledo native talked to The Blade about why he chose the Wolverines:
“I’m really not one to jump ship on anything,” Patterson said. “But I’m really big on setting goals and achieving them. I did that throughout high school. One of the main goals was to win a national championship. At Ole Miss, I didn't have an opportunity to do that. Things didn't shake out the way I planned — coach [Hugh Freeze] got fired, the two-year bowl ban. I couldn’t look back on it after college and say I never got an opportunity to play for something like that.”
“I knew if I went to Michigan, I’m going to be put in the best position to succeed, and I'll grow not only as a player but as a person as well. They have a really, really good team coming back next year. Anyway I could help or contribute to that, I felt we’d have a really good shot at going far.
"Michigan’s always been in my blood, especially growing up in Toledo. I was a huge Michigan fan. My parents were and a lot of my relatives still are season-ticket holders. That really drew me to it.”
Patterson visited Ann Arbor with several Ole Miss teammates over the weekend, and he said that visit really solidified his decision to leave for Michigan.
“I had a really good feeling around the players,” Patterson said. “How professional and business-like they were in practice really attracted me. It was just awesome meeting with coach Harbaugh. I could definitely see myself playing for someone like him.”
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As of now, Patterson, a rising junior is appealing the NCAA in order to get a waiver that will allow him to play next season. The NCAA only granted immediate eligibility waivers to rising seniors at Ole Miss who can't play in a bowl game in 2018 due to those sanctions.
That said, Michigan's compliance department, football staff, and Patterson himself feel confident that his appeal for immediate eligibility will be granted by NCAA based on the argument that former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze knowingly lied to recruits about potential infractions and the focus of then-future NCAA investigations, misleading them in the recruiting process.
“It’s in God’s hands,” said Patterson, who will be in a three-way quarterback battle for the starting job with incumbent starter Brandon Peters and redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey should he gain immediate eligibility. “From what I’m hearing, I’m pretty sure that I will win that and be able to play next year. If I don’t, I’ll work as hard as I can learning the offense and I’ll be playing the year after.”
Patterson started the last few games of the 2016 season for Ole Miss and put up eye-popping numbers in the first seven games of this past season, throwing for 2,259 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions before suffering a season-ending knee injury.Back to the Michigan Wolverines Newsfeed