The most experienced of the three scholarship quarterbacks in Ann Arbor right now, Morris, a former five-star recruit out of Warren (Mich.) De La Salle high school, has always had the look of a player that could succeed at this level of college football.
From his size to leadership in the huddle, it’s Morris’ big left throwing arm that stands out the most. But as new Michigan passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch said Tuesday, that velocity can only mean so much.
“Shane has a very strong arm, which everyone knows,” Fisch said. “He spins it well. He just has to understand that’s really not the most important thing. If you have a really strong arm, you have a really strong arm; that’s what you have.
“So now it’s a matter of what you can do with it, how do you utilize it? His skill set, his arm strength is tremendous and he’s very comfortable as a quarterback so it’s fun to watch him in the huddle, he has command of what we’re asking him to do.”
The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Morris has appeared in 10 games in his first two seasons at Michigan, including two starts.
In his only start in 2014, a loss to Minnesota on Sept. 27, Morris completed 7-of-19 pass attempts for 49-yards with an interception, exiting the game in the second half due to what was later determined as a probable mild concussion.
Now in a three quarterback battle to be the starter in 2015, Fisch is looking for Morris to be more than a thrower.
“He’s got a very strong arm, he can make all the throws, so one of the things you talk about with guys like that, and I’m talking about in general, is you talk about the prettiest ball isn’t always the best ball,” Fisch said.
“If I threw you a knuckler but it landed right here and you caught it for a touchdown to win the Super Bowl, it’s better than if I threw the best spiral in the world and I missed you.
“One of the things we want to talk about is the first and foremost thing for every quarterback is complete passes and take care of the ball. Don’t turn it over, complete passes. With all of our guys that’s what we’re trying to drill into them now. Be smart with it.”