ncaaf 3 days ago

Shea Patterson for Heisman? NFL.com says Michigan QB has a chance

MLive.com, Walker, Mich. — Aaron McMann MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

May 16--While he hasn't even taken a snap at Michigan, nor been named the team's starting quarterback, Shea Patterson already finds himself in the Heisman Trophy discussion.

In a list of his 18 Heisman Trophy candidates for 2018, NFL.com's Chase Goodbread ranks Patterson -- the highly acclaimed transfer from the University of Mississippi -- No. 3.

Writes Goodbread, who ranked only Stanford running back Bryce Love (No. 2) and West Virginia quarterback Will Grier (No. 1) ahead of Patterson:

"When the NCAA officially cleared Patterson for immediate eligibility a few weeks ago following a transfer from Ole Miss, his Heisman candidacy was cleared for takeoff, too. In Patterson, coach Jim Harbaugh has a creative improviser at quarterback for the first time since he took over at UM.

Patterson averaged more than 300 passing yards per game in seven contests last year for the Rebels before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Much of that production came outside of the pocket, making big plays out of broken ones."

Patterson's ability to extend plays has long been one of his strengths. He has good pocket recognition and is quick enough to create on the run.

Last season, in seven starts, he threw for a combined 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns. But Patterson also threw 12 interceptions, and Ole Miss went 3-4.

The scene is different in Ann Arbor, however. Michigan is not on probation and Jim Harbaugh has plenty of time to work with Patterson, who was ruled eligible to play this fall in late April by the NCAA.

Patterson has two years of eligibility remaining and remains in a four-man quarterback competition for the starting job this fall. He participated in all 15 spring practices this fall and says he continues to learn the Michigan playbook.

Will he start Sept. 1 at Notre Dame? Check back this fall.

"I felt great (this spring)," Patterson told reporters during Michigan's recent trip to France. "The best thing is, I was going against a tremendous defense. Those guys on defense were ridiculous. Iron sharpens iron. We're getting each other better everyday, and I definitely feel from a player aspect of it, I definitely got better this spring."

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