Going Both Ways: Is Michigan Positioning Itself as the USC of Dual-Threat QBs?

Charles WelchCorrespondent IAugust 6, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - AUGUST 30:  Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines leads his team onto the field between Tim Jamison #90 and Sean Griffin #59 prior to playing the Utah Utes on August 30, 2008 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Under Pete Carroll, Southern Cal has developed a reputation for landing top notch quarterbacks year in and year out.

Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, John David Booty, Mark Sanchez and now they have the three-headed monster in Aaron Corps, Matt Barkely and Mitch Mustain. They seem to recruit Pro-style quarterbacks at will, which is a good way to build a strong offense year in and year out, and that brings me to my next question.

Could Michigan become the USC of dual-threat Quarterbacks? Throughout the 2008 season all Michigan fans heard about was Rich Rodriguez's Spread Offense, and of course how we didn't have the athletes to run it. However, the most important of all the athletes we desperately needed was at the quarterback position.

Almost a year ago Steven Threet and Nick Sheridan struggled horribly behind an inexperienced offensive line, and with a relatively new set of skill players.

Sure, there were flashes of hope in the arm strength of Threet, and Sheridan make a couple of plays that showed solid athleticism but neither was consistent. At the end of the day there was just one problem, these guys weren't the dual-threat type guys a la Pat White.

This season we have a bit of of a different situation, with two true freshmen coming in the form of Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson. Forcier, committed last fall and enrolled in January, participating in spring practice.

He had what appeared to be a phenomenal spring game completing 11 of 14 passes for 141 yards, while throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions. Forcier also rushed for a touchdown leading the first team offense to a decisive victory.

Denard Robinson comes in as another very highly touted freshman, who has already shown flashes of his 10.28 100 meter dash speed in practice, along with a very strong throwing arm. Members of the Michigan coaching staff have speculated Robinson could be a Big Ten version of Pat White.

As if these two aren't enough, Michigan's 2010 class features Devin Gardner an Elite 11 Quarterback. The invitation to this camp is an honorary invite that not even Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson or Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor were extended.

Gardner, has drawn comparisons to Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor for his 6'5" 215 lb. frame, his excellent combination of size and speed, and his uncanny arm strength and accuracy.

In just a short time Coach Rod has landed three top notch players at the most key position in the spread, and if he continues to have success, his reputation may very well make Michigan the USC of Dual-Threat Quarterbacks.

This article can also be seen at http://wolverinesmix.com/


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