On various message boards, I've seen two widely divergent strategies for how to use Shane Morris in 2013.
One school of thought is that his potential fifth year has far more value than occasional spot duty as a freshman. Therefore, it would be better to hold him out of action unless they're forced to play him — i.e., Gardner is out with the game on the line, and Brian Cleary can't get it done.
The other school of thought, is that as starting QBs seldom make it through a full season without being knocked out of a game (or games), the coaches ought to assume that'll happen, and therefore get Morris into the action as soon as possible. This strategy assumes that Cleary could never play acceptably against a serious opponent, and that a prepared Morris is bound to be better.
For example, suppose Michigan is up on Central Michigan 34-6 after 3 quarters. If they're pursuing the first strategy, the coaches would play Brian Cleary for the 4th. If they're pursuing the second, they'd play Morris, or perhaps a mixture of the two.
Devin Gardner is the textbook example of what can happen when you burn a promising QB's redshirt. He saw only meaningless action as a true freshman, but fortunately was able to get that year of eligibility back, due to a back injury. Of course, Michigan had Tate Forcier that year, so they never really had to use Gardner; burning his redshirt was elective.
The real question, then, is whether you think of burning Morris's redshirt as inevitable (therefore, you might as well burn it immediately), or possibly avoidable (therefore, you should avoid it as long as you can).
Not much to go on, but I did find it interesting FSU was the first to admit him as a mid-term student. Plus looks like he is FOR SURE enrolling early, so we should know by Friday where he's going.
Leon McQuay said he might only have 3 hats on the table when he announces. Wouldn't say who though. #UAgame #FSU #Vandy#USC #UM #DucksLeon McQuay says he plans on enrolling early, only #FSU has admitted him as a mid-term student so far. He is working on the others #UAGameLogan Tulley-Tillman, now that's a Michigan man.Shane Morris practicing his Hoke impression
Without numerous mentions of UMich (past, present, and future ... no kidding) this would probably be too "OT" for the board:
Opinions expressed in the article (such as the one about Gardner) are not necessarily those of the OP.
At first he discusses the possibility of Max Browne taking the #1 spot from Robert Nkemdiche. (I think that is highly unlikely)
This leads me to another quarterback who will arguably be the subject of the most controversial discussion we need to have when it comes time for our next rankings in early December. Of course, I'm talking about Warren (Mich.) De La Salle's Shane Morris.
The lefty was awarded his fifth star following summer appearances at numerous camps as well as The Opening and Elite 11. However, after completing just over 50 percent of his passes as a junior, Morris started off this year 40-of-83 for 456 yards with three touchdowns and three picks. Then he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and could be out for the rest of the season, which makes it unclear if he'll be ready to play in the Under Armour All-American Game in January.
So, was the poor start due to mono or was it more of the up-and-down play from last season that held him back from his fifth star? Mono is unlikely to affect him long term when it comes to his college career, although it could delay his immediate impact depending on how long it takes to recover and gain back weight. His senior year playing sample will certainly lead to some detailed discussion.
More than likely he will lose his 5th star (whoopty doo) and hopefully he will still be able to play with a lot of his teammates in the All-American game.
Most of us knew that he was battling mono, but the reports were that he was playing through it (as he did against Brother Rice). Today Kyle Meinke reports (via a Freep Article) that Shane Morris's coach is pessimistic regarding Morris's ability to play for the rest of his senior season. Per his coach
“He won’t play this week," De La Salle coach Paul Verska told the Free Press, “and really, I’m not counting on him coming back the rest of the year."
Tough break for the future Wolverine, but assuming his bout with mono is as rough as most this seems like the right decision for his long-term health and career. A tough break after he put so much effort into getting ready for the season and all the 7-on-7s.
Here's to hoping his coach is wrong, and Shane M. makes a speedier-than-expected recovery.