By: Will Burchfield
Despite his strong performance on Saturday, Brandon Peters hasn’t yet won the starting quarterback job for Michigan.
“I’m not making any statements like that,” Jim Harbaugh told the Jamie and Stoney Show on 97.1 The Ticket.
First, Harbaugh wants to see the redshirt freshman validate his play versus Rutgers with a strong week of practice.
“I want him to put a stamp, an exclamation mark on the job that he did on Saturday. Put an exclamation mark on that in practice,” Harbaugh said.
Whether or not Peters starts this Saturday versus Minnesota, Harbaugh has made it clear that he’ll play.
“And it’s very likely that he’ll start the game because I believe he will put an exclamation on that in practice this week,” said Harbaugh.
In relief of John O’Korn on Saturday, Peters went 10-14 for 124 yards and one touchdown. He entered midway through the second quarter with the score tied at seven and quickly helped the Wolverines to a 21-7 lead by halftime. They went onto win 35-14.
It left several fans wondering what took Harbaugh so long to turn to Peters.
“I think they said the same about some other positions, even John O’Korn a few weeks backs,” Harbaugh said. “It’s just the process of being in a ballgame. It’s a meritocracy for our team. Those positions are earned, they’re not given, and they’re not given by default. You have to beat somebody out, and it’s not the easiest thing to do at quarterback because there’s only one ball and only one quarterback plays at a time.
“That being said, we felt it was time for Brandon to be in the game, and given the chance to earn that job I thought he acquitted himself well. But that’s the reason — the best players play. It’s by merit, by talent, by effort, and I would say that about every position.”
The biggest hurdle Peters had to clear was communicating at the line of scrimmage. He admitted it was a weakness when he got to Michigan in 2016, but he took a big step forward during training camp prior to this season.
Harbaugh said Peters even consulted a few voice specialists.
“It started really as a freshman, we talked to a few professionals on campus…and then it was just a big process. He had a big inflection point during training camp, where, okay, that’s good, now let’s get a little bit better. It’s been a good day-by-day thing,” said Harbaugh. “I think he’s really at a good level cadence wise. Communication is key in football, and he did well Saturday.
“Let’s come back and put an exclamation on it in practice this week.”
Do that, and Peters will be QB 1 on Saturday night versus Minnesota