Michigan Football Recruiting: Shane Morris May Be Future, Devin Gardner Is Now

Adam BiggersSenior Analyst IIJanuary 20, 2013

Although 5-star Shane Morris is on his way to Michigan, Devin Gardner shouldn't worry about losing his starting job.
Although 5-star Shane Morris is on his way to Michigan, Devin Gardner shouldn't worry about losing his starting job.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Shane Morris is set to take over the reins of the Michigan Wolverines offense. 

The Warren De La Salle 5-star prospect's arrival couldn't have come sooner, either. He throws with velocity, moves well under pressure and has demonstrated the ability to throw into tight windows. 

He fits. 

Michigan has been without an ideal pro-style quarterback for years, and Morris, the nation's No. 2 signal-caller of the 2013 class, is expected—especially by the Wolverines fanbase—to fill that void by commanding a potent and traditional Maize and Blue scoring attack from the pocket. 

Morris is. And Morris will. 

But Morris will have to wait for his turn, because redshirt junior Devin Gardner isn't going anywhere.

Thoughts of Morris entering Ann Arbor, winning the starting job and leading Michigan as a true freshman this fall may be entertaining, but they're not realistic. Gardner remains the sole heir to inherit Denard Robinson's position, and it's unlikely that he'll take a back seat to a hot-shot first-year kid.

Moving from quarterback to wide receiver and back to quarterback didn't appear to damage Gardner's game, physically or mentally. He didn't play like he was new to the gig after assuming the No. 1 role during the aftermath of Michigan's 23-9 loss to Nebraska. 

He was calm, collected and mechanically sound. 

He accounted for six touchdowns against Iowa—that performance is difficult to ignore, with or without a talented newcomer like Morris joining the fold. There are more gaudy numbers to come. 

As the Big Ten season drew to a close, Gardner was among the league's most exciting players. He was lauded for the way he immediately applied his brand of quarterbacking to Michigan, a brand that kept the Wolverines in a down-to-the-wire hunt for a Big Ten title. 

At this point, switching quarterbacks isn't justifiable. Gardner averaged nearly 10 yards per completion in 2012. He connected on 75 of 126 attempts (59.5 percent), throwing 11 touchdowns compared to five interceptions. 

Although Michigan was dealt a 33-28 Outback Bowl loss from South Carolina, the 6'4", 203-pound junior played steadily through his postseason appearance. He made good on 18 of 36 throws for 214 yards and three touchdowns (sacked once, interception).

In all likelihood, Gardner will have two more seasons to leave an impression before Morris vaults to one of the most challenging positions in all of sports—quarterback at Michigan.

Gardner proved himself. He knows the offense, and he's quite familiar with the personnel and pieces that make the Wolverines offense operate smoothly. Being on the same page certainly has its advantages, and Gardner's acclimation with day-to-day ins-and-outs provides enough reason to keep him sturdily affixed to No. 1 quarterback spot. 

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81