Shea Patterson has decided to return to Michigan for his senior season, giving the Wolverines a major boost heading into the 2019 season. It’s a choice that wasn’t expected to come until after the Peach Bowl, but came as an early Christmas present in Ann Arbor.

Needless to say, head coach Jim Harbaugh and several players are excited about Patterson’s decision.

Harbaugh told the media on Monday that Patterson returning for another season is a “big lift” for the program. Michigan’s offense will have an experienced leader under center, joining a group talented stars that will also be back in Ann Arbor.

“We’re excited about it,” Harbaugh said, according to MLive.com. “It starts making you think — we’ve got a lot of really good players coming back next year. A lot of really good people. Players, coaches that will be returning next year, so the thought is in your mind too.”

Michigan has changed quarterbacks virtually every season Harbaugh has been the leader of the program, whether by departure, injury or otherwise. Having a guy return for his second season under center — and one as talented as Patterson — is certainly a massive boost for the Wolverines.

Players shared the same sentiment as Harbaugh regarding Patterson’s return, though they weren’t all that surprised with the quarterback’s decision.

“He kind of mentioned he was leaning [toward] coming back, so it wasn’t really a surprise,” said Jon Runyan. “But having him as the leader of our offense coming back next year…because every year I’ve been here, we’ve had a different quarterback.

“So, having that continuity with him and the style that he plays — the swagger he kind of has — it’s going to be awesome heading into this game, spring ball and into camp.”

Michigan tight end Sean McKeon — who caught 14 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown in 2018 — also said he was “very excited” about Patterson’s return.

Patterson threw for 2,364 yards and 21 touchdowns with a 65.1 percent completion rate. He guided the Wolverines to a 10-2 record. With talented receivers like Tarik Black, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins all returning next season, Michigan has the potential to have an incredible passing attack in 2019.

But first things first, Patterson and the Wolverines are focused on the Peach Bowl and taking down Florida for the third time in four seasons.