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Beaver's decommitment clears path for Forcier

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Michigan's quarterback recruiting for 2009 has been anything but smooth.

First, Kevin Newsome reopened his recruitment in August after committing to Michigan. Newsome ultimately landed at Penn State last week and appears to be the frontrunner to start in Happy Valley in 2010.

Newsome's decommitment didn't appear to hurt Michigan too much at the time because the team still had two other quarterbacks, Shavodrick Beaver and Tate Forcier, ready to enroll in January 2009. But you can scratch Beaver off the list after the Texas native dropped Michigan for Tulsa last week.

Beaver appeared to be a natural fit for Rich Rodriguez's spread offense, and his late change of heart came as a surprise. With neither Steven Threet nor Nick Sheridan able to establish themselves as the starter, Beaver certainly would have had a great shot at winning the top job.

The focus now turns to Forcier, who has pretty impressive prep credentials and also seems to fit Rodriguez's system better than any quarterback currently on the roster. Some considered Forcier the favorite to win the starting job in 2009 whether or not Beaver was in the mix.

The Detroit Free Press' Josh Helmholdt argues that while Michigan might feel increased pressure to add another quarterback, possibly Tajh Boyd, to the 2009 class, the Wolverines aren't in bad shape with Forcier.

"The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Forcier runs 40 yards in 4.55 seconds and has completed better than 69 percent of his passes each of the last three seasons. Because Forcier is further along in his development than Beaver, he was the odds-on favorite between the two to make an impact at quarterback next fall for the Wolverines.

Still, recruiting observers in search of Beaver's replacement are convinced Michigan needs to pursue the likes of Tajh Boyd, a four-star dual-threat quarterback out of Virginia, or Raymond Cotton, another dual-threat who recently decommitted from Auburn.

Rich Rodriguez, however, should not feel the pressure to make immediate flight arrangements to visit Boyd or Cotton. He can enjoy Christmas with his family knowing he has a top-flight freshman ready to enroll in two weeks to add to the two returning starters on the roster."

Forcier very well could be the answer, and if Rodriguez is confident in his ability and maturity, he can get by without another quarterback for 2009. But a lack of depth at several positions hamstrung Michigan last season, and Rodriguez wants to emphasize competition as much as possible after a 3-9 disaster.

Nothing against Threet and Sheridan, who did their best with ill-suited skills, but they probably won't push Forcier the way Beaver would have. If the fit is right, Michigan could be well served by adding another signal caller to set up a true arms race in the spring and summer of 2009.