New Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh might have his quarterback -- and it's a guy who lost his starting job at another Big Ten school.
Jake Rudock has received his release from Iowa and will visit Michigan next week, FoxSports.com reported Wednesday. Rudock has one season of eligibility remaining, and as a graduate transfer, would be eligible immediately.
Rudock (6-foot-3, 208 pounds) was a two-year starter for the Hawkeyes; he redshirted as a true freshman in 2011, didn't play at all in '12, then started the past two seasons. He threw for 4,819 yards, 34 TDs and 18 picks in two seasons, completing 60.3 percent of his passes in a run-oriented pro-style attack (Iowa ran the ball on almost 58 percent of its plays from scrimmage the past two seasons). Rudock was inconsistent with the Hawkeyes, but all the blame can't be placed on him; coordinator Greg Davis deserves a lot of it.
Harbaugh and his offensive coordinator, Jedd Fisch, will use a pro-style offense at Michigan, and that obviously fits Rudock.
Rudock is not a strong-armed quarterback, nor is he much of a running threat. But he is a cerebral guy with an OK arm who cut way down on his mistakes in 2014 (five interceptions after tossing 13 in 2013). Ultimately, though, Iowa coaches thought more highly of C.J. Beathard, the grandson of former NFL general manager Bobby Beathard, and he started the Hawkeyes' Taxslayer Bowl loss to Tennessee. Rudock is an excellent student; he is a microbiology major who is a two-time All-Big Ten Academic selection.
Michigan's starting quarterback the past two seasons was Devin Gardner, who was a senior in 2014 and will attempt to make the NFL as a wide receiver. Holdover Shane Morris has done next to nothing in his first two seasons, and he is the only quarterback on the roster with any college experience. Michigan also has redshirt freshman Wilton Speight and true freshman Alex Malzone, who enrolled in January. Another true freshman, Zach Gentry, will arrive in the summer. John O'Korn, a transfer from Houston, must sit out this season under NCAA rules; he has two seasons of eligibility remaining and could start in 2016.
There also is a recruiting component to this. Rudock and O'Korn are former standouts at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, which is one of the nation's premier high school programs and a school that pumps out high-level FBS prospects like a female rabbit pumps out bunnies (14 St. Thomas Aquinas alums signed with FBS schools in February). Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett and Florida State wide receiver Rashad Greene are St. Thomas Aquinas alums who should be drafted in the top three rounds in the 2015 NFL Draft; other St. Thomas Aquinas alums include Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa, Florida defensive end Bryan Cox Jr., Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, Bengals running back Gio Bernard, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert, St. Louis Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner, Jacksonville Jaguars guard Brandon Linder, Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Major Wright and former longtime NFL cornerback Asante Samuel.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.