There is no Michigan Wolverines football in the immediate future, so all we are left to do currently is throw another log on the extended offseason hype train. By far the biggest storyline for this team before the next time it takes the field is the quarterback battle between Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton. Some are ready for the athleticism of McCaffrey to finally be unleashed, while others are smitten with the bazooka that is Milton’s right arm.
Former Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner — who now runs and operates his own quarterback academy — worked with Milton over the summer and talked about some of the things he saw in an interview with Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider.
“Joe is an immensely talented guy,” Gardner said. “I think the thing that is gonna set Joe apart and get him exactly where he wants to be when the time comes is he has left no stone unturned in pursuit of what he wants. You get a guy that’s as talented as him and a lot of times (they) kind of just rest on (their) laurels because (they’ve) never had to really do the things that some of us less talented guys had to do to try to get what we want. He has done all the necessary things and I feel like he has put himself in a perfect position to get everything that he wants out of life. He has got the type of talent where I can’t see that there’s a guy in this country that you’d just outright say, ‘hey I want that guy (over Joe) if we’re going out and throwing footballs.”
Gardner says much of the growth that he saw in the third-year passer had to do with how fast his preparation was in workouts. There are certain aspects of quarterbacking that cannot be replicated without live reps and it sounds like they did their best to create that for him.
“The growth that I saw, I think, was his ability to take game reps while he’s working. He’s got a cannon. That’s well documented. Everybody knows about that. But he hasn’t had the chance to get a whole bunch of game reps. I’m firm believer that you go fast in workouts so whenever you get into the game, you’re prepared. Then all the things that you work on, they just come out of you because you practice and prepare so fast. He did a great job of that, and I’m sure it’s coming out in camp.”
The buzz coming out of Ann Arbor has suggested that all three guys in the running — McCaffrey, Milton and Cade McNamara — have been performing well and have impressed the coaching staff. Still, this is a two-horse race between the elders in the room and we have heard nothing to suggest that Milton has not looked the part in practice.
The Wolverines have continued to practice despite the shutdown of the Big Ten football season, though many are working behind the scenes to get a season started as early as October. We will have to wait and see what happens, but the excitement has not died down surrounding the quarterback battle that has received a bit of an extension behind the scenes.