Henne to Start?

In what would be a shocking turn of events, a report Saturday morning is that true freshman <b>Chad Henne</b> will lead the Wolverines onto the field for today's opener at Michigan Stadium against Miami (Ohio). <br><br> <b>11:15 a.m. EDT update, source have confirmed Henne will start.<b>

Rumors have swirled in the last week claiming that even though Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr named redshirt sophomore Matt Gurierrez the starter at Monday's press conference, Pennsylvania phenom, and true fresman, Chad Henne from WilsonHigh School in Wyomissing, Pa. would be the quarterback leading the Michigan Wolverines into the 2004 football season. A published report appears to confirm those rumors. "The freshman quarterback from Wilson gets the call for Michigan's season opener today," reads the first line in Saturday's edition of the Reading, Pa. Eagle. GoBlueWolverine Magazine has confirmed with sources inside the program that Henne will indeed be the starter for today's game.

Henne insisted all through his commitment that he would not automatically redshirt and would compete for the starting position as soon as he arrived. "It's a great challenge, but I'm up for it," Henne was quoted as saying in the EagleFriday morning. "I've prepared very well this week. I feel comfortable and confident just to go out there and play."

The Eagle also reported the original plan was to start Gutierrez, then bring Henne in to start the second quarter, bringing up memories of the 1999 season and the platooning of QB's Tom Brady and Drew Henson. An apparent shoulder injury to Gutierrez, causing him to miss practice, forced Carr to give the job to the true freshman. A true freshman hasn't started a Michigan football game at quarterback since Rick Leach in 1975. An interesting coincidence is that Henne wears the same number, No. 7, worn by Leach during his tenure as Michigan's signal caller.

Will Henne keep the job once Gutierrez recovers from injury? "If I play well (today) maybe I'll get the chance (to keep the job)," he said. "It all depends what happens. There's always the possibility of that. I hope one of us steps up. Whoever steps up will play."

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