Report: Wilton Speight could return to Michigan if Shea Patterson isn't eligible

It turns out Michigan's unsettled quarterback situation might be settled by someone who has already won the job once during his career.

According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, former Wolverines starting quarterback Wilton Speight -- who announced in December that he would play his final year elsewhere as a graduate transfer -- is considering a return to Ann Arbor if incoming transfer quarterback Shea Patterson doesn't receive a waiver, requiring him to sit out the 2018 season.

There are a lot of moving parts here.

Speight threw for 2,538 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016 as Michigan's starter, but a vertebrae injury cut his 2017 season short in late September. He is cleared to play from a medical perspective, and is currently training in California after graduating from Michigan in December.

Patterson played two years at Ole Miss before deciding to transfer and is seeking a waiver to play immediately despite being an undergrad. His claim is that the former Rebels staff misled him during the recruiting process. Ole Miss self-imposed a bowl ban after the 2017 season and the NCAA tacked on another year to the bowl ban effective in 2018.

If Speight does return to the program, he would likely battle rising sophomore Brandon Peters for the top spot on the depth chart. Peters completed 52.8 percent of his passes (57-for-108) for 672 yards, tossed four touchdowns and threw two picks in place of recent graduate John O'Korn, who replaced Speight in the middle of the 2017 season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh also has redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey on scholarship. McCaffrey, the younger brother of former Stanford Heisman contender and current Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey, was a four-star prospect in the class of 2017.

Speight's return would provide some stability to a program that has one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2018. The Wolverines open at Notre Dame, play in a tough Big Ten East that features Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State and draw Wisconsin and Nebraska out of the West.

Again, there are a lot of moving parts here, and that process starts with Patterson's waiver being accepted or denied. That news, according to the report, is expected to come in at least a month.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories