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Michigan quarterback Steven Threet to transfer

BY DAN FELDMAN
Courtney Ratkowiak and Andy Reid
Published February 16, 2009

Redshirt freshman quarterback Steven Threet will transfer from Michigan, according to a statement released early this morning.

"I have decided to transfer from the University of Michigan," Threet wrote in the statement. "I have requested and received my release. I do not yet know where I will continue my collegiate career, and have no further comment until that decision is made."

Calls to Steven Threet’s cell phone last night from The Michigan Daily were not returned. When contacted last night by the Daily, Threet’s father, Jewel Threet, said his son would release a statement today and declined further comment.

An Athletic Department spokesperson also declined to comment about the statement.

The Wolverines’ starter in 8 of 12 games last year, Threet transferred from Georgia Tech prior to the 2007 season. He finished last season 102-of-200 for 1,105 yards, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Michigan signed two quarterbacks, Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson, on National Signing Day on Feb. 5. Forcier, a four-star recruit according to rivals.com, enrolled early in January and will practice with the team this spring.

Redshirt sophomores Nick Sheridan and David Cone are the only returning quarterbacks on Michigan’s roster. Sheridan started four games last season. Freshman Justin Feagin, who began last season at quarterback and moved to slot receiver, will also return.

Phil Jacobs, Threet’s coach at Adrian High School, said yesterday he didn’t know about Threet’s plan to transfer.

“He’s pretty much kept it to himself and his family,” Jacobs said yesterday before the quarterback announced his intention to leave the Wolverines. “He’s going to do what’s best and do the right thing. I’m supportive of the kid.”

Threet enrolled at Georgia Tech in January 2007 but transferred after spring practice. He cited the departure of Yellow Jacket offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, who primarily recruited Threet, as the main reason for the transfer.

Although Michigan had five-star quarterback Ryan Mallett, Threet told Jacobs he wasn't intimidated. Threet thought he outplayed Mallett at Michigan's quarterback camp after his junior year of high school, Jacobs told The Michigan Daily in September 2008.

When Threet decided to transfer to Michigan, Jacobs said the quarterback called him with a simple message.

" 'Coach, I'm going to go back to Michigan, and I'm going to beat Mallett out for that starting job,' " Jacobs said Threet told him.

Threet sat out the 2007 season because of NCAA transfer rules, and Mallett transferred to Arkansas after that season.

Threet competed with Sheridan, a former walk-on, during spring and fall practices for the starting job. Sheridan started in the season opener, but Threet got the starting nod in the next game against Miami (Ohio).

"It's frustrating not to hit the passes to help the team win more than anything," Threet said after the Miami game, in which he went 6-of-13 for 63 yards, including one 50-yard screen pass. "Some passes, some plays, I'd like to have back. But that's the situation, so you just keep on working, and try and come back next week and make the plays."

Threet's breakout start came against Notre Dame on Sept. 13. In South Bend, he went 16-of-23 for 175 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

He started seven more games but missed two of Michigan's final three games with a shoulder injury. He didn't play at Minnesota and didn't make the trip to Ohio State.

Threet said early last season that being Michigan's quarterback wouldn't affect his laid-back personality.

"I feel that I can be focused, but be myself at the same time," Threet said. "Me as a person, I can't be uptight. I don't like that feeling, so that's not how I'm going to approach a game."

-- Nate Sandals and Joe Stapleton contributed to this report.

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