Monday, February 16, 2009

A fond farewell

Michigan quarterback Steven Threet announced on Sunday that he intends to transfer.

"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."
Since he used his redshirt year in 2007 after transferring to Michigan from Georgia Tech, Threet will lose a year of eligibility if he transfers to another FBS school. It seems likely that he's headed somewhere in a lower division.

His departure had been rumored for a couple of weeks, and the reason is obvious: With the arrival of highly touted freshman Tate Forcier, an early enrollee, and four-star athlete Denard Robinson on his way this summer, Threet probably saw the writing on the wall and decided to move on to a place with a better opportunity for playing time.

While Forcier will likely be the starter, I don't think it's a given that Threet would have been relegated to the bench -- there certainly would have been a competition in the spring, and there's never a guarantee with freshmen quarterbacks -- but I also can't really blame him for leaving.

Many people will look at Threet as the reason for Michigan's disastrous season, but that's simply not accurate. He struggled with accuracy at times, but he was also battling injuries to both elbows and still put up respectable numbers while surrounded by fellow freshmen in an offense clearly not suited to his skills.

After losing the battle for the starting job in training camp to walk-on Nick Sheridan, Threet nearly rallied the team to a win over Utah in the season opener, did rally the team to a win over Wisconsin, was outstanding on the road against Notre Dame and had Michigan in position for wins over Toledo and Penn State before being forced out with the aforementioned elbow injuries.

Some will see him as part of an ugly 3-9 campaign and say, "Good riddance." Personally, I'll always remember him rumbling 58 yards through the Wisconsin secondary as he led Michigan to its biggest home comeback ever.

Good luck, kid.

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