With game one for the University of Michigan exactly two weeks away the most prevalent question from outside (and maybe even inside) the program is who will be the team’s top signal caller? That was clearly the priority scouting job for the Big Ten Network analysts that made their way to Ann Arbor yesterday. Gerry DiNardo ranks as the crew’s most experienced evaluator and is also a former college coach. After focusing his veteran eye on the competition he gave the edge to Morris.
"There are only two involved, that's it," DiNardo told The Detroit News. "Nobody else is competing for that job. I thought Shane Morris, and I told (Dave) Revsine on the air I'm not dodging the question, did the better first half of practice, and Rudock had the better second half. Shane has a stronger arm and Jake has a better touch on deep ball and Jake looks like he struggled with the intermediary throws.
"Based on one practice, if you forced me based on today, I would say Shane (is the starter)."
But DiNardo’s Big Ten Network colleague Tom Dienhart disagreed.
“Jake Rudock figures to win the quarterback spot,” Dienhart wrote. “The Iowa senior transfer is the one signal-caller who gives Michigan the best chance to win out of the gate. And, that’s an important consideration for a Wolverines squad that faces one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation: at Utah; Oregon State; UNLV; BYU. Rudock threw the ball well today and worked with the top units along with junior lefty Shane Morris. Rudock is a savvy vet with lots of starting experience.”
So what should be made of the disagreement?
The takeaway is Morris’ play has improved, and the decision on who the #1 signal caller will be won’t be made based on one day of practice.
Dienhart’s take is more in line with current camp buzz. Rudock’s reputation for taking care of the football (his 34 career touchdowns to only 18 interceptions) makes him the safer pick if game one were played today. But game one is still 14 days away, and if Morris is can maintain current form in subsequent practices the appeal of his superior talent may be too great for the coaching staff to sit him down.