Zach Gentry was a four-star quarterback coming out of high school. Although there is no doubting his ability to play the position, the Michigan coaching staff sees him as something completely different.
The 6-foot-7, 244-pound athlete has the height and mobility to become more involved in the U-M offense compared to sitting on the depth chart as a quarterback. The coaching staff noticed his size and his potential as someone who could become more than a quarterback. The approach was made and Gentry agreed to the switch.
According to his position coach Jay Harbaugh, an approach to a player to make a switch isn't made as a form of punishment. If the coaching staff sees an opening for you to get playing time elsewhere, they will have your best interests in mind, according to Harbaugh.
"Guys just want to play," Harbaugh said. "The truth of the situation was, 'hey this is something we think you could be very good at, we have your best interests in mind so we'd like you to do this,' and explained to him why this is a better situation to get on the field and be a contributor. I think when you hear that, that's kind of all you're looking for as a player."
As far as switching back to quarterback or another position altogether, Harbaugh was quick to rule out that possibility. It appears Gentry's fate at U-M will be with a tight end group filled with talent.
"I see him as a long-term tight end," Harbaugh said. "I don't see any scenario where he would change positions. I think its his best fit for his body and how he's going to continue to grow and develop. I would be surprised if that was something that came up at any point."
In terms of better understanding the roles of both being a quarterback and tight end, Harbaugh views it as too soon for Gentry to reap the rewards. With Gentry being quite raw in terms of talent and the position still being new to him, it's going to take some time to understand everything.
However, Harbaugh says, it's nothing that Gentry can't handle.
"I hope as he continues to grow he can kind of draw on his quarterback perspective a little bit more," Harbaugh said. "He was so new to everything in the spring that I'm not really sure I would say its been a huge asset for him, but I think as he gets going, having a better understanding of the game always helps."