Happy Thursday, folks, and welcome to this morning’s Brews. I don’t know about you, but this week has been messing with my mind - so I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend. To make you Thursday a little easier we’re going to contemplate the QB position for next year. Right now it seems the battle for the starting spot is between Speight and Peters. Will the experienced Senior be able to fend off the challenge from the upstart Sophomore? I make my prediction (while resisting the urge to go full TO) and I invite you to weigh in with predictions of your own. We also bring you news of a new addition to Jim Harbaugh’s staff and a surprising stat about just how young the football team will be when they take the field against Florida in the fall.
Keeping with tradition, there are at least four clues contained in this morning’s Brews that combine to reference a song. This one is a little harder than the past couple weeks so I’ll tell you upfront that all the clues are phrases and they all reference lines from the song. As usual, fire away with your guesses in the comments section.
Wilton Speight’s Approach to Summer
Wilton Speight has got more important things to do this summer than the average college kid. Coming off his inaugural campaign as the Michigan’s starting QB in 2016, Speight finds himself having to fend off a spirited challenge from young gun Brandon Peters. Peters is coming off a Spring Game where he looked more polished and at ease than Speight did for much of the afternoon, completing long and short passes alike while Speight struggled with touch and distance. Of course, a Spring Game isn’t the same as strapping on the pads in the fall, much less stepping out under the colored lights of Jerry World. Peters nonetheless opened a lot of eyes this spring, and looks poised to challenge for the starting spot, if not win it outright.
For his part, Speight isn’t taking anything for granted. On his plan for this summer and fall camp, Speight recently said, “What I've tried to do every year, even when I was the fifth-string guy, was attack every day like I was the starter.” Of course, part of that preparation is watching film, particularly of his performances in games last year. “I watched a little bit before spring ball, as well, but I got back to America and immediately went and clicked on the film and started watching that and knocked it all out,” Speight said. “Watched every game twice.”
If I had to make a call today, I’d say that Speight will be the starter when Michigan takes the field against Florida. Having started last year, he’s less likely to have the lights at Jerry World sparkle in his eyes. Speight wasn’t outstanding last year, but he did what you want a quarterback to do. He didn’t lose games and, in the games that were close, he gave Michigan a chance to win at the end. It didn’t always work out for the best (here’s looking at you Iowa and Ohio State). In both regular season losses last year Michigan had opportunities to put more points on the board and put the games away in the fourth quarter, but they didn’t. At the end of the day, though, I don’t put that entirely on Speight and I don’t think that’s cause to replace him with the inexperienced Peters.
Did I get it right? Weigh in below and in the comments.
Who Will Be Michigan’s Starting QB?
This poll is closed
Wilton Speight, giving way to Brandon Peters at some point
Brandon Peters, giving way to Wilton Speight at some point
Ex-NFL RB Alfonso Smith is working with Michigan's program as an intern https://t.co/kSE3LqUqXc— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) June 21, 2017
On Tuesday we brought you confirmation that Biff Poggi was leaving his off-the-field role with the team for a head coaching job at a high school in Baltimore. Today, we bring you news of an addition to the staff. Former NFL running back Alfonso Smith is joining the program as a coaching intern. Smith spent five seasons in the NFL, mostly as depth and on practice squads. In 2014, Smith signed with the 49ers, which is perhaps where he met Jim Harbaugh - seeing as how the 2014-15 season was Harbaugh’s last in San Francisco. Smith’s role with the team will be off-the-field and will not involve any on-field coaching.
Michigan will be the least-experienced team in the country, per Phil Steele https://t.co/YQfDpbjepx— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) June 21, 2017
Keeping with the theme of new people, Michigan will have a lot of fresh faces on the field next year. By one account, the Wolverines will be the least experienced team in America. Who’s account is that? It’s Phil Steele, the publisher of the widely-respected College Football Preview. Steele’s ranking is due to the fact that Michigan will be returning just one starter on defense and four starters on offense. For more on Phil Steele’s thoughts on what 2017 holds for Michigan Football, keep an eye out for his interview with our very own David Noe early next week.