If there was a guarantee that he would receive a waiver for one more season at Michigan, Shea Patterson would’ve been putting on the maize and blue uniform for one more season.

Patterson told reporters on Tuesday during the NFL Scouting Combining that he debated about a return to Michigan for a third season in Ann Arbor, and fifth season at the college level. But the quarterback wouldn’t have had any guarantees if he made the attempt to return, so it would’ve been a huge risk.

As much as he would’ve like one more year leading the Wolverines offense, Patterson decided it was best to pursue a future in the NFL.

“I couldn’t really find out until early February — maybe late February? — if I would even get the fifth year,” Patterson said, according to Aaron McMann of MLive.com. “That’s a big risk. I would have had to pass up the Senior Bowl. I would have had to pass up training.

“If I didn’t get that, I would have been stuck in no-man’s land.”

Patterson was at Ole Miss for two seasons before transferring to Michigan ahead of the 2018 season. He played in 10 career games with the Rebels, but appeared in just three contests in his freshman year in 2016. The four-game redshirt rule wasn’t in effect back then, and whether or not the NCAA would have allowed him to go back and apply the redshirt policy to the 2016 season was the biggest question mark.

In the end, Patterson would not have had a decision in time and could have been left out in the cold if he opted to pursue a fifth year. But that doesn’t mean he was ready to leave Ann Arbor.

“I wasn’t ready [to leave],” Patterson said. “I loved playing at Michigan, and I would have loved another year to play with those guys and my teammates and that coaching staff.”