LOI Profile: Quarterback David Cone a clone?

Think of a big, strong, tough Michigan quarterback, about 6-6, 225 pounds. A kid who in high school only threw 5-to-10 passes a game, and therefor came to Michigan very raw. Who is it? Elvis Grbac, you say? Good guess -- but there is another 'Grbac-clone' about to enter Michigan in the fall.

How could a team with a strong-armed 6-foot-6, 225-pound quarterback run the 'wishbone'? And only let the signal-caller throw five to ten passes a game? The coach must be crazy, right?

Not so fast.

Remember back in the old U-M days of QB Steve Smith and WR Anthony Carter? Michigan was lucky to throw ten passes a game back then, but Carter caught a TD pass every time he was single-covered, at least one a game. He was a consensus All American, and Michigan won a lot of games in the three Smith-to-AC seasons.

No one around the Michigan football program wants to see the return to those days. But in the case of David Cone and his Statesboro, Georgia team, consider this: Statesboro just won it's second consecutive Georgia state championship! And with Cone directing the wishbone, and throwing one or two passes a quarter -- and over one TD pass a game.

The problem with this QB 'square peg in round hole' situation is that a high school QB throwing ten passes a game isn't going to get easily noticed by college recruiters.

Fortunately for David Cone, he made it up Ann Arbor for the Michigan Camp for three days. And also at the same time he was there, there were two high coveted, "Elite 11 Quarterbacks" in attendance, Pat Devlin and Neil Caudle.

Both Devlin and Caudle came in with high expectations, but it became clear right away that Cone was the best prospect of the three. And at the end of a couple days, the two Elite 11 kids went home without Michigan scholarship offers -- and Cone won himself a U-M schollie if he wanted it.

It did not take Cone long to decide to act on the Wolverine offer. He went home from camp and thought things over for a week -- and on June 29, 2005 he committed to Michigan.

As Coach Carr said at his Signing Day press conference, "Cone's a big guy,with wonderful upside. And he's extremely smart. He didn't play in an offense where you could see the type of things you want to see in evaluating a quarterback. But because he was in our camp, we got to watch him, and (U-M quarterbacks coach) Scot Loeffler had the opportunity to coach him. We looked at almost every quarterback in country, and Cone beat out some good ones."

This past fall Statesboro, as we said, won it's second consecutive state title, and Cone threw about 120 passes including 13 touchdowns.

And he never wavered, not once, in his verbal commitment to Michigan. He considered fewer schools than he threw passes in one of his games!

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