Morris is Learning off past Experience

Quarterback Shane Morris is using every opportunity to get better this spring as he battles Devin Gardner for the starting spot. **Read Inside**

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The last time we saw Shane Morris he was making his first career start against Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for an injured Devin Gardner.

The Wolverines, of course, lost 31-14 to the Wildcats, but in the process Morris was able to gain valuable game experience heading into his first spring camp.

"Anytime you can get experience, especially in a bowl game is huge for me," said Morris, who threw for 196-yards and interception against KSU. "And just being able to play in that game helped me a lot with the speed of the game, and playing in game atmosphere. I feel like it helped me out tremendously in the spring getting that experience."

On Saturday, Morris competed in his first spring game at Michigan. A performance that was average at best, as the offense struggled no matter which quarterback was under center as the defense looked more prepared. Moreover, Morris & Co. were in the process of learning an new offense under newly hired offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeir.

But despite the apparent struggles of the offense, Morris kept an upbeat attitude on the Michigan's performance.

"Spring ball has been going really well," Morris said. "I feel like we have made a lot of progress with Coach Nuss and his offense. It's gone really well so far."

And while Morris didn't light up the scoreboard statically on Saturday – which included one interception -- he still got a positive review from U-M coach Brady Hoke, who reflected how far Morris has come since getting the first-team reps in bowl practice last season.

"He's getting better every time he goes on the field," Hoke said. "Sometimes that's making a mistake that you learn from – it can get you better. We are very comfortable with how he has progressed through 15 (spring) practices. He's a long way away. We're a long way away from being the kind of team we need to be. But much more comfortable now, because of the experience he's had."

Experience or not, at 6-foot-3, 202-pounds, Morris fits the mold of your prototypical quarterback, but it's his arm strength that separates him from the rest, says Gardner.

"Shane probably has the strongest arm I've seen since I have been here," Gardner said. "I've been around a lot of quarterbacks and I've seen a lot of other guys throw, but he's probably got the strongest arm I've seen."

That's high praise from Gardner, considering Morris is his main competition to start at quarterback this fall.

In the meantime, however, Morris says he will continue to use his past experiences to help benefit him as he heads into his sophomore season at Michigan.

"(I'm) just looking at the defenses – reading them," Morris said. "Just going out there having fun and playing fast.

"A lot of the stuff is just learning the playbook, getting in out it, footwork stuff, timing with the receivers and watching film with the lineman, getting everything straitened out there."

Next up, Michigan open its season at home versus Appalachian State on Aug. 30.

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