Michigan has not named a starting quarterback yet. With Shea Patterson using his eligibility, the Wolverines will be ushering in a new gunslinger under center for the 2020 college football season. Regardless of whether it’s Dylan McCaffrey or Joe Milton, one of them will be a dark horse candidate to claim the Heisman Trophy, at least according to one analyst.
CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli believes that, with some help, one of those quarterbacks could be a Heisman contender this season.
“We don’t know who Michigan’s starting QB is going to be in 2020. All we know is Shea Patterson is gone, and Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton are competing to take his place,” Fornelli wrote. “Based on Heisman odds, it seems sportsbooks are putting their money on it being McCaffrey.
“I’m approaching this from the standpoint of the darkhorse being Michigan QB, whether that’s McCaffrey or Milton.”
Earlier this offseason, offensive coordinator Josh Gattis told reporters that there is no front-runner in the quarterback race at this time. The cancellation of spring practice prohibited McCaffrey and Milton from creating any potential separation in the battle.
Summer and fall will be when Michigan’s quarterback competition is settled.
Regardless of who is under center for the Wolverines in 2020, Fornelli stated that Michigan having a Heisman contender will be contingent on the play of wide receivers. If Nico Collins and Ronnie Bell step up their games this season, it will be a huge benefit for the UM offense. Particularly after Michigan struggled with drops a year ago.
“Michigan’s two leading receivers last season, Ronnie Bell and Nico Collins, were two of its biggest culprits,” Fornelli wrote. “Bell dropped 16.9% of his targets and had an on-target catch rate of 70.8%. Collins wasn’t much better, checking in with a drop rate of 11.1% and on-target catch rate of 68.5%.
“Those two need to be better in 2020. A lot better.”
Michigan is currently scheduled to open the 2020 season on the road against Washington. It will be a huge test, regardless of who is under center for the Wolverines.