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Meet Michigan football’s 2018 class: Quarterback

After a late de-commitment, there’s only one quarterback in Michigan’s 2018 class: Joe Milton.

Student Sports Flickr - Andrew Ivins
Andrew Ivins

Michigan’s 2018 class was always going to have two quarterbacks. And for the longest time, it was the same two — four-star Joe Milton and three-star Kevin Doyle.

But Doyle changed all of that by de-committing four days before National Signing Day. It was an unexpected move that not many saw coming.

Now Michigan is left with Milton, which isn’t a bad thing by any means — it just now changes Michigan’s plans for the 2019 cycle. Milton, albeit a very raw talent, has a whole lot of upside. Let’s get right into it.

Joe Milton

Ranking: 204th nationally, 9th pro-style quarterback per 247Sports’ Composite

Height: 6-foot-5.5

Weight: 230 pounds

Hometown: Orlando, Fl.

Senior stats: 9 games, 90-for-188 passing (47.9 completion percentage), 1,317 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 59 rushes, 262 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns, 1 reception, 3 yards, 1 receiving touchdown

The thing that attracts your attention right off the bat is Milton’s height. At 6-foot-5.5, this kid can see over the offensive line with ease. And he carries his weight well for being a taller player, as a lot of his weight comes from his height and build.

Milton’s rocket of a right arm is what attracts you to him when you actually see him play. It doesn’t even look like he is trying to throw deep down the field, but he is somehow able to firmly set his feet, step into his throw and make his deep ball look effortless.

He also has a great ability to make defenders miss him in the pocket. If he has to scramble outside the pocket to make a play — whether it’s on the ground or not — he can do that, too. He focuses more on his passing than his rushing, but this kid as the ability to be a real dual-threat quarterback at Michigan.

But the thing everyone is concerned about is his completion percentage. His three-year high school career completion percentage is 47.4 percent, which is not good whatsoever. However, if you take a look at this highlight tape below, you can probably get a good understanding of why his completion percentage is so low.

I counted four, possibly five intermediate passes in that entire video. Everything else was either Milton running or throwing a deep ball. And odds are if you are throwing a deep ball more often than not, you are going to see a poor completion percentage and more interceptions because — obviously — deep balls are high risk plays. People saying he needs to work on his accuracy aren’t entirely wrong, but it’s a lazy reason to say that solely because of his completion percentage.

They say “numbers never lie” but oftentimes they don’t tell you the extended truth, either.

With the amount of talent Michigan has at the quarterback position — Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey and Shea Patterson — it’s very likely Milton will be redshirted his true freshman season to learn the playbook, get acquainted with Michigan’s weight room and gain trust in his coaches.

So even with Doyle’s de-commitment, Michigan is still getting a very high-upside player in Milton. He was a four-star talent with a ton of big-time offers. He was clearly wanted, and the Wolverines are better with him than without him.