Interview by Sam Webb
Story by Josh Henschke
When Wilton Speight was injured during the final few games of the season, the importance of a competent back-up quarterback that can be inserted and make plays came to light.
A quarterback can go from benchwarmer to starter in an instant and must always be prepared.
For passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton, his job is to not only prepare likely starter Speight, he must also prepare the back-up quarterbacks on roster as well.
Michigan has an experienced quarterback in John O'Korn on roster. He has starting experience and will challenge Speight this season, just like the last. Hamilton expects O'Korn to be prepared for whatever comes next.
“John O’Korn is a gym rat," Hamilton said. "He is a guy that loves football. He’s picked up the playbook very fast and efficiently and he has a lot of talent. If ever given an opportunity to play, I have all the confidence that he’ll be prepared. Now it is on him to go out and play and execute.”
Redshirt freshman Brandon Peters is someone many expect to become the quarterback of the future. Despite his talent, he still has plenty of room to grow and is fortunate enough to learn the playbook in front of two experienced quarterbacks. The jury is still out on Peters at the collegiate level, but Hamilton is excited to see what he's capable of.
"I always tease Brandon about always being so laid back," Hamilton said. "Let me tell you this, he is an exceptional athlete. He’s a lot more athletic than what people would expect that he is. I’m excited because Brandon is the type of kid, he’ll quietly sit back and not say much, but when it is time to go out and compete in our early morning workouts, he’s the guy that is out front. So we’ll see, only time will tell. I haven’t had a chance to get out on the grass with our guys. Once again, I haven't seen them throw live. I’ve had a chance to watch practice film and watched their game film from last season. I’m excited to see what Brandon is going to do.”
Alex Malzone might be the forgotten man in the quarterback rotation but he is still working hard to make some noise and impress the coaching staff. One thing that impresses Hamilton the most about the young quarterback is his smarts.
“Smart kid, really smart," Hamilton said. "He's able to retain a lot of information and we’ll see where that takes him.”