clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wilton Speight is transferring, and Michigan’s down its most experienced QB heading into 2018

New, comments

The Wolverines lose their injured starter, though they’ve got a handful of talented options behind him.

NCAA Football: Air Force at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan starting quarterback Wilton Speight is transferring from the program, he announced Sunday, a day after the Wolverines’ regular season ended.

Speight was injured for most of the season and didn’t play in UM’s last eight games. The Wolverines’ passing game floundered without him, a process that reached a crescendo when backup John O’Korn threw a brutal interception to pretty much lock up Michigan’s sixth straight loss to Ohio State on Saturday.

The Wolverines’ QB situation for 2018 wasn’t all that clear even with Speight onboard, though he might’ve started again in the event he stayed healthy. It’s now even less clear than it was before, though current sophomore Brandon Peters seems like the frontrunner for the job with Speight no longer in the fold.

O’Korn, Speight’s maligned primary backup, is out of eligibility. Peters showed some encouraging things in late-season action this year, and freshman four-star Dylan McCaffrey is also on the roster. There are certainly options here, and talented ones at that. But UM won’t have much experience at the position.

McCaffrey was one of the most touted QBs in the class of 2017 but didn’t figure into the Wolverines’ plans this year. Another backup, Alex Malzone, will be a senior in 2018.

The Wolverines have two quarterbacks committed for 2018, including rocket-armed four-star Joe Milton from Florida.

It appears Speight will be immediately eligible elsewhere as a graduate transfer. He had 581 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions in parts of four games this season before he injured his back at Purdue in September. Speight’s injuries reportedly included three fractured vertebrae, and he didn’t suit up the rest of the season.

(A note: I’ve changed the headline of this post, which said Speight’s transfer made Michigan’s QB situation less certain than before. It narrows Michigan’s list of possible starters, though it gives the Wolverines’ fewer known quantities at the position.)