Speight learns from West Coast trip

U-M QB commit Wilton Speight talks to GBW about his recent trip out to the West Coast, what he's learned from his tutor Steve Clarkson ... and he talks about he and his future U-M roomie.

Sam Webb: Let's start off talking about the quarterback retreat and how everything went for you out there in San Diego.

Wilton Speight: "We went to San Diego for the weekend, lot of really good quarterbacks out there competing. My quarterback coach Steve Clarkson, he got some good guys on the staff, Matt Leinart, Brett Hundley from UCLA, Max Wittek from USC, and then his staff is really good, and there was probably about ten or twelve quarterbacks that were our age, juniors to seniors, some of the top prospects in the country, and it was a blast. We got to compete, and we also had a lot of fun. Where the camp was, we were all at the same hotel, so it was a good time."

Sam Webb: So I imagine it was a really good bonding experience for you and Drake. What was that like?

Wilton Speight: "It was awesome. You know, we plan on being roommates up at Michigan, and we had our hotel room, and just getting a little taste of what the next couple years will be like, you know, we had a blast. We got a lot of good chemistry working on the field, we showed each other a good fit, and just built our relationship even more with all those guys out there in California, and I've known those guys for a really long time now, because I train with all of them, and you would think Drake knew all those guys for as long as I did, because he just jumped right in and fit in real well, so it was a good time with them."

Sam Webb: I know you've been working with Steve for a while now, so take me through your game when you started, and where it is now. Where you do see the biggest improvements? How is your game different?

Wilton Speight: "We've been together for about a year and eight month or so, and when I first started working with him, I had a powerful arm, and you know, 40% to 50% of the time I was using the full potential of my arm, you know, all the strength that I had, and that was just throwing the heck out of the ball as hard as I could. After working with him for a couple months, he really started to get my whole body into it, and now at this point, being almost two years into training with him, my footwork has come extremely far, and my drop backs, all the coaches that I've thrown in front of over the past year said that my foot speed and how I move in the pocket is very impressive for a guy who's 6'6". That aspect of my game has become a lot better with the work of Steve. The knowledge of the game – he and I watch a lot of film together, so he helps me there, and how to read every single defense, and pre-snap reads, blocking protection, scheme, stuff like that, so really all around, I'm two to three times the quarterback I was before starting with him."

Sam Webb: I know you went out and competed at the Elite Eleven tryout. What was that experience like? What did you take from it, and what did you think of the whole thing?

Wilton Speight: "The Elite Eleven was alright. I thought I performed very well, as did a lot of the guys out there that didn't get a ticket. No one did, you know, during the Elite Eleven showcase on Friday. I didn't stay out for the Sunday thing. There were a lot of quarterbacks, there was a big regional, so I don't know if everyone got as many reps as they would have liked, or as many looks as they would have preferred. A lot of guys went in there and took away a lot, but you know, I've been fortunate enough to be training with Steve for so long that I pretty much knew everything that I needed to be working on at the time, and certain drills that I've already done, so for me it wasn't really an eye-opening experience or anything like that. Not taking anything away from the Elite Eleven; I think they've built themselves a good name and all that, but yeah, it was alright."

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