By: Will Burchfield
Michigan landed transfer quarterback Shea Patterson from Ole Miss on Monday, but one big question remains: Will Patterson be eligible for the 2018 season?
The NCAA typically requires transfers to sit out their first season. Patterson, however, is confident the NCAA will grant his waiver given the severity of Ole Miss’ sanctions.
“From what I’m hearing, I’m pretty sure that I will win that and be able to play next year,” Patterson told the Toledo Blade. “If I don’t, I’ll work as hard as I can learning the offense and I’ll be playing the year after.”
Should Patterson receive immediate eligibility, another question will surface: Will he start? Michigan returns two young, highly-regarded quarterbacks in Brandon Peters and Dylan McCaffrey and four-star commit Joe Milton will enroll this spring.
Patterson, who threw for 3,000-plus yards and 23 touchdowns over 10 career games at Ole Miss, would seem to have the inside lane, but only time will tell. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
The Toledo native said he was drawn to Michigan first and foremost for the opportunity to win a national championship.
“I’m really big on setting goals and achieving them,” Patterson said. “I did that throughout high school. One of the main goals was to win a national championship. At Ole Miss, I didn’t have an opportunity to do that. Things didn’t shake out the way I planned — coach [Hugh Freeze] got fired, the two-year bowl ban.
“I couldn’t look back on it after college and say I never got an opportunity to play for something like that.”
On top of that, Patterson was attracted to the trio of Jim Harbaugh, offensive coordinator Tim Drevno and passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton, all of whom have coached on the NFL. Patterson is considered a top NFL prospect.
“I knew if I went to Michigan, I’m going to be put in the best position to succeed, and I’ll grow not only as a player but as a person as well,” he said. “They have a really, really good team coming back next year. Anyway I could help or contribute to that, I felt we’d have a really good shot at going far.”
Patterson missed the final six games of this season after tearing the PCL in his right knee, but he told The Blade he’s already back to full health. His final hurdle is securing eligibility for 2018.