Harbaugh dishes on Patterson, Hughes

Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 9:04pm

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have reeled in two transfer targets this offseason.

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have reeled in two transfer targets this offseason. Buy this photo
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National Signing Day was mostly uneventful for Jim Harbaugh and Michigan.

The Wolverines added three new players to the 2018 recruiting class after signing the bulk of their class during the new early signing period in December. They also lost the headliner of their class, Otis Reese, to Georgia after the four-star linebacker had been committed for nearly two years.

The three new recruits — Ronnie Bell, Vincent Gray and Michael Barrett — aren’t the only new names Michigan will welcome into the fold, though. Junior quarterback Shea Patterson will join the team after spending two years at Ole Miss, while fifth-year senior defensive back Casey Hughes decided to take a grad transfer from Utah and join the Wolverines. Michigan is also currently in pursuit of fifth-year senior left tackle Calvin Anderson, who took an official visit recently to Ann Arbor and is reportedly deciding between the Wolverines and Texas.

There’s certainly a chance that members of the 2018 class could contribute as early as next season. But Michigan’s new transfers are more than likely to see the field, though it’s still currently unknown whether Patterson will be eligible.

The quarterback is currently in the midst of an appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility, with the argument that Ole Miss misled recruits and players during an ongoing investigation — an investigation that resulted in several penalties, including a bowl ban and scholarship reductions, for the Rebels.

Harbaugh was asked at his press conference Wednesday afternoon about whether he had an update on the appeal process, and his answer was blunt.

“No,” he said. “I don’t have any update on the calendar.”

While Patterson’s status for next year is still up in the air, Michigan’s other incoming transfer is certain to have immediate eligibility. Where he’ll fit in the secondary, though, remains to be seen.

“Yeah, another thing to be determined,” Harbaugh said when asked about Hughes. “(I) think he has the ability to be a corner. Also has the ability by what compiles our best secondary to be a nickel or be a safety. Think he’s got the ability to play all three of those and we’ll determine that when he gets here.

“Coverage ability plus tackling abilities. He’s made quite a few tackles and he’s a strong tackler.”

Hughes started 11 games this past season for the Utes, tallying 35 tackles, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup.