Other Possible Michigan QBs for 2008

Submitted by bluebobbyd on July 23rd, 2008 at 2:11 PM

So there's a lot of worry about the quarterback situation next year.  About how our best prospect is Georgia Tech transfer Steven Threet, who has yet to throw a pass in college football and would probably trip over himself if he tried to take off running.  And about how the only dual threat quarterbacks we have for next year are walk-on Nick Sheridan and incoming 3-star freshman Justin Feagin.  While one of these three lucky fellas will probably walk onto that football field as a starter next year, I for one would like to take a look at two other players on the Michigan team that just might be better prospects.

RB Carlos Brown - Mr. Brown played quarterback and running back at his Heard County High School.  He completed 27 of 52 passes for 541 yards, and even practiced a bit as quarterback as a freshman at Michigan.  And just as important, he's a proven runner who racked up 100-yard games against Illinois and Minnesota last year, even while splitting time with Brandon Minor! He's 6 feet tall, only 2 inches shorter than Henne.  He is a true dual-threat option: a quick, proven runner who can heave the ball when necessary.  More details here: http://thosewhostaywillbechampions.blogspot.com/2008/01/should-carlos-brown-switch-to-qb.html

Incoming DB Brandon Smith - Again, played quarterback in High School in New Brunswick, NJ.  His highlights on YouTube show more passing than DB play (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Wv3BrV6Uis4).  He is 6-3, great height for a QB, and runs a 4.5 according to rivals.  He passed for over 1000 yards both junior and senior years in high school, and rushed for another 800 his senior year.  This guy is a real-deal quarterback, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's given a serious shot at handling the offense when he gets on campus.


chitownblue (not verified)

July 23rd, 2008 at 2:26 PM ^

It's mind-boggling to me that people are continually searching under rocks to find a better QB option than a 4-star, Elite 11 QB. We're going to turn a true freshman safety at QB instead of the 4-star quarterback?


July 23rd, 2008 at 2:31 PM ^

At many high schools, simply the best athlete on the team plays QB. It's not indicative of their QB talent at the college level. Because the best h.s. athletes in the nation play D1 football, it's common to see plenty of former h.s. QBs on the field at other college skill positions like DB and WR. Basically, most h.s. running QBs are not even remotely good enough to play QB in college. I'll take the passer any day, and reportedly, the best passer on the team is Steven Threet. Sorry to sound hostile in any way, but it's prob not gonna happen w/ those guys, and it shouldn't.

El Wolverino

July 23rd, 2008 at 2:33 PM ^

NCAA has a maximum practice time limit. So RR has to be very prudent with practice time w.r.t QBs. I think even Sheridan won't get a good practice time. Threet and Feagin probably will get bulk of the snaps.


July 23rd, 2008 at 2:46 PM ^

Also, I never understood why Henne was listed at 6'2 when he's basically 6'3" (6'2 7/8"), but that makes Brown 3 inches shorter if we're getting picky. Either way, 6' is pretty darn short for QB. Spread offense be damned, why have a (short, glorified) running back at QB when you can have a guy who has been trained for years on how to pass the football (among other QB duties)? On Smith, why would we thin out the depth chart at saftey even more just to have another QB option? We already will have Feagin if we want to go the true freshman, running QB route? I just don't get it.


July 23rd, 2008 at 3:00 PM ^

Both of these guys to me seem like candidates only for ISQDs. But Feagin could pull of plays like that while actually presenting the threat of passing the ball. Unless we see injuries at QB I'd be shocked to see either of these guys get any snaps.


July 23rd, 2008 at 3:34 PM ^

Threet will be much better than anyone is expecting. He's a very accurate passer and moves much better than Michigan's last two starting QBs.

Like Chitown said, this guy was a very good recruit and being in the Elite 11 is nothing to sneeze at. This guy has the chops. I find it funny that people at South Carolina and Pitt are super excited about their new star QBs who were rated along the same lines of Threet in the same incoming freshmen class. We, and everyone else, are downright dejected about QB prospect.

Granted, the apprehension towards Threet is that its hard to picture him in the Pat White mold. But, that assumes RR is going to try and carbon copy the last couple years at WVA right away at UM. He's smarter than that. In Threet he has the best passer he's had as a head coach. In UM's recieving corps, he has more talent, even if its raw, than he's ever had. He scored a big commit with McNeal and is working his ass off to get Rueben Randle. He would not be doing this if his plan was to do nothing but run.

Look at the Big 12. The spread offense dominates that league, but all of them run a relatively pass first type of offense. RR will incorporate a lot of that to match the talent on hand.

The key is the OL. If they can develop and give Threet time, our offense will be much better than expected. But if the OL struggles--and lets face it, they struggled last year and are now both less talented and experienced--it could be very dicey.


July 24th, 2008 at 9:05 AM ^

i saw threet at the spring game and wasn't all that impressed.  he is head and shoulders above sheridan (only because sheridan isn't very good) , and cone just sucks (i mean he really sucks), but threet doesn't look like a great qb. he also seems a little fragile


July 23rd, 2008 at 3:52 PM ^

If the OL can give Threet some time, the kid has a rocket arm. I live in Adrian ( Threet attended Adrian High) and I watched him play. He is smart, has a very good arm, and he might not be quick but if he gets going he can run. I would not be suprised to see Threet being a big part of this offense for the next four years, regardless of Newsome/Forcier/Beaver or who ever comes here.


July 23rd, 2008 at 4:14 PM ^

wasn't carlos brown henne's back up in 2006? wasn't his primary position qb before mallet and threet showed up? if he was good enough to be the back-up qb at Michigan under lloyd carr then i would think he has to have a decent arm. maybe i'm wrong, but it seems to me he is the closest thing to pat white they've got.


July 23rd, 2008 at 6:33 PM ^

Jason Forcier was Chad's backup in 2006, and I believe Jeff Kastl after him. IIRC, in Brown was rumored to get snaps at QB in either spring or pre-season training in 2007, but that turned out to be nothing once the season started. He also spent a little time at DB then back to RB during his time here, so I think they kinda tried him at a few positions before he settled in at RB officially.


July 24th, 2008 at 10:43 AM ^

Here is a quote from Lloyd Carr from the spring of 2007 when Carlos was considering switching to CB

"Carlos Brown came in to see me after the bowl game and has an interest in moving to cornerback. That's going to be a great move for us. We will still work him some as a tailback, but Carlos, because of our situation a year ago at quarterback with Antonio Bass being out, Carlos' development as a tailback was limited because during the course of the season, we prepared him to play a role at quarterback if we had so needed. Jason (Forcier) had some problems, and we weren't sure he'd be able to hold up. Carlos played quarterback in high school. He has handled a difficult first year extremely well. I'm really excited about what I've seen from him this winter and his potential to develop over there."

As for seeing any time at quarterback in 2007, Coach Carr said, "He had an unbelievable number of repetitions last fall for a couple of reasons. Antonio Bass probably would have been our backup quarterback a year ago. We also needed to prepare our defense against some spread teams. What we decided was to create an offense with a limited number of plays where we could utilize some of the things Carlos can do. He's not going to play any quarterback at least in my plans this spring, but to say that he never would – I can't say that."


July 24th, 2008 at 11:58 AM ^

Getting repetitions when the backup QB is nicked up and the rest are walk-ons, redshirts, or injured doesn't imply that he was ever Henne's backup. On every depth chart in 2006, Forcier was listed in the 2-deep and even played in 6 games (garbage time obviously). He also ran the scout team offense.

The quote you bolded is even more convincing that he wasn't good enough to seriously compete at QB for the reasons Carr gave. First, an unbelievable amount of repetitions is what, exactly? Unbelievable amount for a RB, a backup QB in a weak depth chart? Next, preparing the defense for spread teams is basically saying he's just scouting for the defense, so he's good enough to be a scout team dummy QB, pretending to be Troy Smith or whomever running QB we were playing. Great. Finally, they wanted to try an offense they made for Antonio Bass. Also great. Antonio Bass as an option at QB was an experiment that unfortunately wasn't completed b/c of his injury. With Brown, they were experimenting with an experiment. That doesn't give me any confidence that he would've been good enough for game action, especially in conference play.

As for Carr's comments on his potential, coaches always says stuff like that about players and it's usually fluff. Brown was a journey player who tried at a few positions on the field (RB, DB, KR/PR, QB). With an athlete like him, you have to try him somewhere or you will waste his obvious talent. If you try him at enough places, something is bound to work and for a lil while, it looked like nothing was working. As an aside, I'm glad he worked out at RB. He's strong, home-run threat fast, and has experience. We are so excited about the freshman coming in that we ignore how well Brown could do as a RB in this offense. Keep him there.


July 24th, 2008 at 1:08 PM ^

okay so he wasn't henne's back up. forget i said back up. but does he proabably have a decent (not great) arm? pat white can't throw for shit (and i watched all the 2007 wvu games on espnu). i'm sure even carlos can throw a screen. and we know he can run like hell. i know he hurt his hand this spring but he was still able to get somewhat familiar with the new offense, and he's a junior. it just seems like he's the closest thing they've got to pat white. thats all i was trying to say. for the record, i still believe threet will be the starter, with a sprinkling of feagin

chitownblue (not verified)

July 23rd, 2008 at 9:06 PM ^

baleedat, you're wrong on several counts. Carlos Brown was oringinally a defensive back. And Jason Forcier was the backup to Henne.


July 23rd, 2008 at 9:35 PM ^

by originally? The only time i remember him being mentioned as a DB was when they threatened to move him there and he threatened to transfer, then grady broke his leg so carlos stayed.

I remember lloyd saying something like carlos was hurt in his development at RB because he was forced into some backup QB duty and was running the scout team at QB. Was forcier nicked up at anytime? if so that would have moved carlos ahead of the cone/richards/sheridan mess.

Also, smith is not a QB, yes he played one in h.s. but feagin is the much better running qb prospect. I would expect carlos and feagin to both get snaps unless threet just all of a sudden has the light bulbs go on.

It's gotta be hard for a guy that's had 5 offensive coordinators in just under two years. (H.S. Gatech1, gatech2, lloyd's, RR's. That's like learning 5 different languages so he's bound to be a little confused for a while. But he should have a good philosophical understanding.

Tim Waymen

July 23rd, 2008 at 10:26 PM ^

I think that it all boils down to the fact that we would be absolutely set if Antonio Bass could still play. It's such a shame. I've said it millions of times, but he's supposed to be such a great guy, Lloyd said right before retirement that Bass was an amazing athlete, and Mike Hart said he was "easily" the most talented athlete on the team. What a shame. I pour out some vodka for this fallen comrade. To Comrade Bass, a true hero and martyr for the Revolution!


July 24th, 2008 at 1:26 AM ^

people are definitely overthinking this. Carlos Brown and Brandon Smith as Big Ten quarterbacks? I guess its sexy because their fast and we're all looking for the next Pat White...but we should be looking for the next Shaun King. This offense can certainly function without a mobile quarterback, and Threet is no bum. He was the #9 quarterback coming out of high school and has a live arm that is good enough to keep the defense honest and not allow them to simply key on the run. Plus, he got to try out the whole 'throwing' thing more than just 50 times in high school. I'm not saying Brown and Smith won't take the field in certain situations to do the cliche 'Tebow-Leak' thing, but come on...Threet is the quarterback until Newsome/Forcier/Beaver arrive.


July 24th, 2008 at 10:51 AM ^

I think, as unfair as it sounds, that it will be a situation where no matter how well Threet plays (barring the scenario he throws 30 TDs and steals Michael Shaw's legs), he will be replaced by Newsome or Beaver. His time is obviously numbered and he can certainly read the writing on the wall. He knows that these highly recruited 'dual-threat' quarterbacks are Rodriguez's guys of the future. These highly touted guys are made for his system and they can be likened to a first round draft pick...the current coaching staff has invested too much in them to not give them the reins, regardless of Threet's performance this year. I think he will play better than everyone expects and I truly believe is a legit Big Ten caliber quarterback. However, I think he is just a round peg trying to fit into a square hole (please no "that's what she said" remarks)

chitownblue (not verified)

July 24th, 2008 at 9:00 AM ^

I missed the part where he was Henne's backup? If Threet plays well, then Newsome/Beaver don't get to start as true freshmen.


July 24th, 2008 at 7:31 PM ^

Threet will be a RS sophomore this year.  He spent 2006 at GT, then '07 sitting out his transfer year at UM.  So he'll have two years after this one.  That's not that big of a deal.  And since he's not a runner, it's not unthinkable that we could use some kind of a platoon in '09.


July 24th, 2008 at 7:54 PM ^

Like others have said, Threet is not some scrub. He was highly regarded and he is better than any other option currently on the team, even if he is not the prototypical RichRod QB. There are plenty of spread offenses such as Texas Tech that succeed without a running QB. Also, while I agree with Hennedance that RichRod will want to bring in his new QBs that better fit the system a la Phillip Rivers, these guys will be true freshmen. I at least expect Threet to hold onto the starting job for the better part of next year unless he really screws up this year. Remember, most true freshman QBs dont usually start unless forced to. Something along the lines of the a running package for the dual threat QBs will likely occur throughout Threet's time at QB.

chitownblue (not verified)

July 25th, 2008 at 10:45 AM ^

As others have said - Threet is a RS freshman. He didn't come here largely because Mallett committed.

chitownblue (not verified)

July 25th, 2008 at 3:23 PM ^

Threet did practice all last year, I believe, as it was his redshirt year. Because he left Ga Tech before fall practice commenced, he didn't need to use a transfer year - pretend it never happened.