Today is a good day for the Michigan Wolverines football team. Today is a day that has been a long time coming. According to reports, Shea Patterson has been granted eligibility to play in 2018. Ever since (and even before) the former Ole Miss quarterback announced his transfer to Michigan, the question about his ability to play this upcoming fall has been up in the air.
On Thursday afternoon, Chris Balas of The Wolverine reported that Patterson is expected to win his ruling with the NCAA, with an announcement expected as early as Friday. Aaron McMann of Mlive chimed in as well, relaying a “no comment” from Patterson’s attorney which seems like a favorable sign. The Michigan Insider echoed the same positive news.
It was widely expected that Patterson would indeed receive eligibility for 2018, but with push back from Ole Miss and the unpredictability of the NCAA, it comes as a welcome sigh of relief to finally hear positive news on the front.
If everything goes according to plan, Patterson will immediately become the favorite to be the starting quarterback in 2018, although he will have to compete with likes of hungry youngsters Joe Milton, Dylan McCaffrey, and Brandon Peters. There are no guarantees; Patterson will have to earn his keep.
One thing that should benefit Patterson is that he brings a skill set to the Michigan offense that has not been around to this point in the Harbaugh-era of Michigan football. Athletic, fast, elusive, and a good passer on the run, Patterson could be a highly dangerous weapon for Michigan if he improves under Harbaugh’s tutelage. At the very least, he brings an extra layer to the quarterback competition this fall, but expectations will be much higher than “just another body” heading into the season.