Zach Gentry was seen by many as one of the five best quarterback prospects in the high school class of 2015. Normally, a player with expectations at that level and massive size (6-foot-7, 244 pounds) and skill for the position would be settling into a legitimate competition for a starting job at this point in his college career. However, Gentry is set to battle for playing time... as a tight end for the Michigan Wolverines.
Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com recently spoke to Gentry about the much publicized transition from quarterback to tight end, and while the redshirt freshman likely sees himself in a different quarterback light from Jim Harbaugh, he is embracing the move with open arms.
"I think a lot of people in my situation would have left but, first of all, I like all the guys here. It's a great team and I have a lot of friends on the team. The coaching staff is great and coach Harbaugh has proven he can get guys to the next level. That's obviously my goal and everyone's goal on this team.
Another thing, too, is that there's only one quarterback playing on the field at a time, whether that's here or somewhere else. There's only going to be one quarterback on the field. If I can get on the field hopefully this year and contribute in some way for the next four years, I think I'll have more fun doing that."
Gentry also sheds light on the fact that Harbaugh whispered sweet nothings of an NFL future at tight end in his ear, and that certainly could have had an effect. Still, Harbaugh and his staff are already well known for widespread use of the tight end position, and with Jake Butt primed to exit after a potentially explosive senior season in 2016, the door could be open for Gentry.
More traditional tight end prospects, highlighted by Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Ian Bunting, could stand in Gentry's way, but with more and more practice at his new position, there is a chance he could be special. Zach Gentry's story serves as a reminder that things can get volatile in a hurry at the college level, but it looks as if he is approaching everything with the right mindset moving forward.
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