|ESPN.com: Big Ten||[Print without images]|
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Quarterback Steven Threet's decision to transfer from Michigan continues to be a bit of a head scratcher.
This could very well be a smart move for Threet, who should be able to find an opportunity to play and, more importantly, an offensive system that better suits his strengths. He had his moments last fall and could still put together a nice college career, possibly at an FCS school.
On the flip side, Threet could have been Michigan's starter in 2009. He might not have been the favorite to win the job with two freshmen (Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson) in the mix, but it's hardly a guarantee that a freshman would develop enough in practice to cement himself as the starter. As much as the team struggled in 2008, Threet still had eight starts under his belt and would have had more if not for injuries.
Why didn't he want to compete again?
The question was posed to Detroit Free Press Michigan beat writer Mark Snyder.
Threet undoubtedly saw where he stood with this coaching staff. They appreciated his toughness and his ability to fight through last season's arm injuries and a concussion. But if they believed in him leading this team, they would not have aggressively recruited two quarterbacks for next year's class.
While Rich Rodriguez would like to have Threet around to help teach the offense to freshman Tate Forcier in the spring [and Forcier and freshman Denard Robinson in the summer], it was clear Threet was not likely to hold the job for long, even if he had made strides.
The spread system might have been the deciding factor for Threet, who didn't shy away from a potential competition with Ryan Mallett after transferring to Michigan from Georgia Tech in 2007.
"'Coach, I'm going to go back to Michigan, and I'm going to beat Mallett out for that starting job,' [Phil] Jacobs said Threet told him."
Michigan clearly would have benefited from Threet staying, if only to provide depth and guidance to Forcier and Robinson. I don't believe Rodriguez ran off Threet, but he made it clear that the competition is wide open. As it stands now, the Wolverines are both thin and inexperienced at their most important position heading into 2009.
"You can look around and see some numbers: Nick Sheridan, Justin Feagin, Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson, even David Cone," blogger Chris Burke writes in The Diag. "The problem is that we painfully learned last year how hard it is to run Rodriguez's system without experience in it. Outside of Sheridan -- and maybe Feagin, to a much-lesser extent -- the QB spot is back to where it was before last year."
Forcier gets a head start in the learning process this spring, but Michigan desperately needs him and Robinson to catch on quickly.