Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight is working with the understanding that the starting position is his to lose this season. He will also be operating under the guidance of new passing game coordinator and wide receiver coach Pep Hamilton this season.
With only seven spring practices to account for, Speight and Hamilton haven't had much time to work together. However, Wilton has been able to impress his position coach in the early stages of spring football.
"I've been very impressed with Wilton," Hamilton said. "Wilton is a conceptual learner and so some of the things we've put on his plate at this point in the spring, he was a quick study. Football is important to Wilton and winning is important to Wilton, so I've been very impressed with him."
While the two aren't focused on building a relationship off the field right now, there will still be some sort of transition that needs to happen. A general understanding, if you will, of each other and the expectations Hamilton has for Speight in his second season as the expected starter.
While Hamilton expects to dedicate some time for relationship building down the road, he says that there will be some challenges for Speight to adjust to a new coaching style. Something Hamilton expects Speight to get through with flying colors.
"I don't think it's a challenge for me it's more of a challenge for Wilton to adjust to a different style of coaching than what he was used to or what he had in years past," Hamilton said. "We haven't had any issues, I think Wilton understands that the quarterback for the University of Michigan, the expectations are out of the roof and he's up to the challenge... I think once we finish spring ball and maybe while we're over in Europe we will actually have a chance to sit down and get to know each other better. A lot of our time just grinding on football right now. Thank goodness that Wilton is mature enough to handle all of his affairs off the field very well. It's been all ball, all the time."
Hamilton knows a thing or two about coaching the quarterback position at both the collegiate and professional level. He has been busy breaking down what Speight needs to work on to be the "best Wilton he can be," as Hamilton puts it. In the short time the two have spent together, Hamilton likes what he sees from Speight.
And, of course, there's always room for improvement.
"I thought he had above-average physical stature for the position," Hamilton said. "He can function from the pocket, he has great field vision and he can deliver the ball under duress. I felt that was an extreme positive and there are some things we will have to work on but he's still a work in progress in that regard. I don't think I want to divulge too much into the specifics that we're working on."