Jake Rudock spent the (great) majority of the 2015 season under center for the Michigan Wolverines, leaving some to forget that his presence at the top of the depth chart was far from a lock. In fact, Jim Harbaugh famously avoided naming a starting quarterback for his debut season until the offense took the field in the season opener and, once again, there is uncertainty at the position as 2016 approaches.
While there is every indication that the Wolverines are evaluating two players (John O'Korn and Wilton Speight) above all others, that does not necessarily indicate that Michigan will be providing an answer anytime soon. In fact, Michigan passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch would not close the door on the QB battle bleeding into the actual regular season schedule when asked earlier this week (via Josh Henschke of The Michigan Insider):
"I guess there's always a chance but I don't know that, I don't know what it's going to look like," Fisch said. "I would be surprised if it looked like that, that it would go into the season. You'd like to have a starting quarterback before then but, again, we don't know. We'll talk about it and we'll talk what the best way is to name a starting quarterback, when is the best time to name a starting quarterback. Again, what are we going to do with that?"
This is, of course, a virtual non-answer from Fisch, but the possibility that the staff could be evaluating two options even beyond the season opener is a bit jarring. O'Korn is the higher upside choice, as he threw for more than 3,000 yards as a freshman at Houston in 2013, but Speight is the "incumbent" of sorts, having replaced an injured Rudock last season in leading the team to a game-winning drive against Minnesota.
It seems safe to assume that, according to his answer, Fisch would desire having one quarterback as "the guy" before Hawaii arrives in Ann Arbor on Sept. 3, and the smart money would be on the same feeling from Jim Harbaugh. Still, this is a detail-oriented, methodical coaching staff that will uncover every rock in search of the best option at quarterback.
Harbaugh's reputation as a quarterback guru is well known, but in 2016, expectations are high and the margin for error is getting smaller and smaller by the day.
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