It’s official: Shea Patterson is coming to Ann Arbor.
Monday afternoon, Patterson announced his intent to transfer to Michigan from Ole Miss, capping off a recruitment that only came to light recently.
“Thank you to the wonderful people, teammates and coaches at Ole Miss. It is a special place and I will always have great memories of my experiences in Oxford,” Patterson wrote in a statement on Twitter. “I am now excited to announce my commitment to continue my athletic and academic career at The University of Michigan. It's time to go to work.”
Things between the two parties progressed quickly. Jim Harbaugh paid a visit to Oxford last week before Patterson — along with two teammates, Deontay Anderson and Van Jefferson — returned the favor this past weekend. The trio was seen at Saturday’s men’s basketball game against UCLA.
Patteron’s decision to transfer was likely influenced by the punishment handed down to Ole Miss by the NCAA, which included a two-year bowl ban and multiple scholarship restrictions, in addition to the school’s self-imposed bowl ban this season.
By now, of course, most fans will have heard of the sophomore phenom.
Formerly the top-ranked quarterback recruit in the nation, Patterson started 10 games over his first two years playing for the Rebels. As a freshman, he filled in capably for an injured Chad Kelly, leading Ole Miss to an upset road win over then-No. 8 Texas A&M in his first collegiate game.
Patterson won the quarterback competition entering this fall. Through the first seven games, Patterson completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 2,259 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions before a torn PCL sidelined him for the remainder of the year. At the time of his injury, he was leading the conference in passing yards.
Both Wilton Speight and Alex Malzone have announced their intent to transfer from Michigan, which would leave Patterson as the most experienced quarterback on the roster next year — and the quarterback with the most production, as well.
Historically, Michigan is not a school that pursues many transfers, let alone multiple from the same school. But Harbaugh does have experience in successfully pursuing quarterback transfers. In early 2015, Jake Rudock left Iowa as a graduate transfer to finish his career at Michigan. Around that same time, John O’Korn chose to transfer from Houston, sitting out one year before appearing in 16 games over the past two seasons.
It remains to be seen whether Patterson will be able to display his talent next year as he — and Michigan — awaits word on whether he will have immediate eligibility.
Harbaugh and Michigan have yet to provide official comment on the transfer. Patterson was unable to speak with media during their visit this past weekend, as transfers fall under NCAA recruiting rules.