Nick Sheridan was a Notre Dame fan for nine months.
That was eight years ago, when the now-redshirt sophomore quarterback lived just over the Michigan border in Granger, Indiana, and was taking snaps with his middle school’s eighth grade “B” team.
Sheridan’s father, Bill, now the linebackers coach for the New York Giants, was Notre Dame’s safeties and special teams coach in 2001. Nick went to every home game and watched the Fighting Irish finish 5-6.
“It was a pretty bad year for my family,” Sheridan said.
He insists he never cheered for Notre Dame to beat Michigan — the teams didn’t meet that season. And though he rooted for every team his dad coached, he was quick to point out that his Notre Dame allegiance “wasn’t by choice.”
Fighting Irish coach Bob Davie resigned after the season and former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr hired Bill Sheridan as his linebackers coach. Four years later, his son walked on to Carr’s team and, coincidentally, saw his first game action against Notre Dame.
Surrounded by his family of Irish Catholics, Sheridan will play in his first Michigan road game this weekend in an atmosphere he knows quite well.
“It’s kind of been a Notre Dame thing for my family, which I’m hesitant to say,” Sheridan said. “But I’m sure everyone in my family will be rooting for me on Saturday.”
Similar situation for quarterbacks: This weekend, the quarterback shuffle will remain the same as it was against Miami (Ohio). Redshirt freshman quarterback Steven Threet will probably start, but Sheridan will also take snaps against the Fighting Irish.
“It’s ‘or’ (on the depth chart) because it really is ‘or,’ ” Rodriguez said. “Both of those guys are still there in the mix. If one guy would emerge and play to the point where it’s just him and he’s playing at that level, that would be good.”
Freshman Justin Feagin, who Rodriguez said last week will redshirt, has been working with the quarterbacks and the slot receivers during practice. Before signing with Michigan last February, Feagin was recruited by Louisiana State as a wide receiver. Michigan has already received verbal commitments from four-star quarterbacks Shavodrick Beaver and Tate Forcier for the class of 2009, meaning there may be five quarterbacks in the mix to start next season.
Despite the Feagin’s versatility, Rodriguez said redshirt sophomore David Cone is the team’s third quarterback.
Repeated plays: Brandon Harrison’s pass breakup in the end zone during Saturday’s third quarter prevented the RedHawks from tying the game at 10.
But if not for an overruled play, Michigan’s defense would have been off the field four plays earlier.
With two yards needed for the first down, Miami quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh appeared to throw an incomplete pass from the Michigan 16-yard line. The RedHawks called a timeout and challenged the play.
The officiating crew ruled they had incorrectly called the play a forward pass, but on further review, determined it was a lateral pass. Miami was allowed to repeat third down and got a first down on the next play.
Rodriguez said Monday he was looking to learn more about the reasons behind the referees’ decision.
“I didn’t know there were do-overs,” he said. “I know when you’re playing in the backyard or something, you redo it, or if you’re on PlayStation, you can push that reset button. I didn’t know there was such a thing in Division I-A. I’ll have to get that cleared up.”
Injury report: Rodriguez said redshirt junior left tackle Mark Ortmann dislocated his right elbow and will not play this weekend against Notre Dame. Ortmann was in a block ‘M’ sling after Michigan’s win last Saturday. Possible candidates to replace Ortmann on the left side are redshirt sophomore Perry Dorrestein, redshirt sophomore Bryant Nowicki or freshman Patrick Omameh. Nowicki played in Ortmann’s absence Saturday.
Junior running back Carlos Brown wore a white jersey for the first time during Sunday’s practice, signifying that he could participate in practice as normal. Brown took a snap at quarterback against Utah but didn’t play against Miami. Rodriguez said that Brown, who has been struggling with a wrist injury since fall camp, should be “full-go” against the Fighting Irish.
Wide receiver Greg Mathews (foot) and running back Michael Shaw (groin) are also expected to return to the field Saturday.