Michigan Football Recruiting: Redshirting Shane Morris Would Help the Wolverines

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2013

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com

Having Shane Morris ride the pine for a season would benefit the Michigan Wolverines.

247Sports' composite rankings have the De La Salle Collegiate High School senior at No. 71.

Morris committed to Michigan way back in May of 2011 (h/t AnnArbor.com). He was invited to the Under Armour All-American Game this year, but had a very poor showing, finishing 2-of-10 for the game with an interception. Kyle Meinke of MLive.com did a good job of chronicling his difficulties in the buildup to the All-American Game.

Those who saw Morris came away largely unimpressed.

It was the culmination of a rather poor run for Morris, as reported by Meinke. Morris fell in Rivals' rankings and lost a star from his status, thus becoming a 4-star quarterback.

As a result, some of the gloss on Morris' arrival has worn off.

Michigan might normally be concerned if it didn't already have a steady QB situation for 2013. Devin Gardner did a very good job after replacing Denard Robinson in 2012. He passed for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns to only five interceptions. Gardner also rushed for another 101 yards.

The Wolverines will be a very good football team with him at the helm. He is largely unproven, but he's likely at least as good of a passer as Robinson was.

With all of the momentum having been almost completely drained from Morris coming into Ann Arbor next season, the timing is perfect for him to take a step back in regard to his Wolverine career. Having him sit out his freshman year will help his development greatly.

It's not as if all of a sudden he's a poor quarterback because he dropped in recruiting rankings. He has the tools to succeed. Now it's up to the Michigan coaching staff to hone his skills.

If anything, the poor run just helped to ground fans' expectations, which is only going to help Morris.

The Wolverines don't need a quarterback to come in and throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. They need a QB who will be able to manage the game and help move the ball down the field.

Michigan won a split of the 1997 national title with Brian Griese and then the 2000 Orange Bowl with Tom Brady. Neither of those guys lit up the field.

Morris can take a year off and learn the Wolverines' playbook while adjusting a little more to college football. By the time Gardner is done, Morris can take over.

He's going to be the quarterback of the future. At this point, it's important that he has plenty of time to settle in and find his groove. Redshirting his freshman season will pay huge dividends for both player and school.