ANN ARBOR, Mich. – It’s no secret Shane Morris has a rocket arm and can make most distance throws that normal quarterbacks can’t make.
His arm strength has never been in doubt.
Yet his accuracy with touch, well, has been. And though his sample size is small, his career stats in in his first two years under center (2013, 14) are not overwhelming.
After redshirting his junior season in 2015, in his two years prior, Morris completed 43-of-87 passes at a 49.4 percent rate. He’s thrown for 389 yards with zero touchdowns and five interceptions in two career starts.
Now entering his fourth season at Michigan, Morris says he’s added touch passing to his arsenal. While he always been able to throw hard and fast, he now can throw with added touch if needed.
“It’s something I definitely worked on this offseason and last year when I was redshirting,” said Morris, who stands at 6-foot-3, 209-pounds. “It’s hard, because I am used to throwing it hard a lot. We’re going to put touch on the ball, now it’s about finding the in between (passes), finding when to use both. It’s something I got a lot better at this spring.”
Morris, of course, will have first chance to show everyone his new passing skills in U-M’s spring game this evening at Michigan Stadium at 6 p.m.
The left-hander is currently in a three-way competition with Wilton Speight and John O’Korn for U-M’s starting job, and today’s spring game can go along way in proving U-M's coaches who will be the best quarterback this season.
“I think the biggest thing for us is getting in-game experience,” Morris said of today’s spring game. “That’s the kind of thing you can’t really get in practice as a quarterback. Playing in front of 70,000 people you see how guys react.
“You’re going to be live in the pocket. We haven’t been live in the pocket all spring. Guys running 4.6s running full speed like Chris Wormley coming full speed at you to see what you’re going to do.”
But what does Morris do better than his fellow quarterback peers? Well, Morris didn’t name anything in particular, he just pointed out how close the competition between them has been so far.
“We all do different things better,” Morris said. “We’re all three very good quarterbacks. It’s a unique situation to get three quarterbacks with how many guys we have that are all very good quarterbacks, that all can play at a Division 1 level in the Big Ten.
“And that’s tough, a tough decision for the coaches, and that’s tough for us when someone gets chose as the starting quarterback and it’s not the person you think it’s going to be, or it’s not you, or its not me. It’s going to be tough for us cause we know that we can do it, but there is two other guys who can do it as well.”