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Posted on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 : 5:36 p.m.

Nick Sheridan's goal: To start at quarterback for University of Michigan football team

By Dave Birkett

Thumbnail image for NickSheridan3.jpg

Nobody expects Nick Sheridan to start at quarterback for Michigan this year - nobody except Nick Sheridan.

“I’m competing to be the starting quarterback here,” Sheridan said. “That’s my expectation.”

Sheridan and Steven Threet co-authored the worst season in Michigan football history, going 3-9 last year.

Sheridan, a 2006 Saline High School graduate, started four games, including the tone-setting season-opening loss to Utah, but neither he nor the lead-footed Threet, who’s since transferred to Arizona State, seemed to fit coach Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense.

Sheridan completed 46 percent of his passes, Threet was a statue in the pocket, and both players finished with more turnovers than touchdowns.

With freshmen quarterbacks Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson joining the mix this fall, sentiment is that Sheridan has seen the field for the last time as a Wolverine.

“I think fans are hoping that anything new is better than what it was,” Sheridan said. “I don’t look too far into that. The fans are expecting or hoping or whatever they are that these two freshmen come in. I hope that they turn out great, too. It’ll make our team better.

“But it doesn’t bother me that people don’t think I’m going to be competitive versus these kids or that I’m not in the competition. That’s OK. They don’t decide who plays on Saturday, so I’m not too concerned about that.”

Rodriguez has said the best quarterback will play when the Wolverines open the season Sept. 5 against Western Michigan, and ESPN analyst Shaun King - who played for Rodriguez at Tulane and still keeps in contact with his old coach - said he expects both Forcier and Robinson to see the field early.

“I would assume that Tate’s going to start, but I think that Rich is going to play both of them,” King said. “Kind of let them dictate it and see what goes along and who will ultimately be the starter for next year and beyond.”

Robinson, a Florida state sprint champion, is considered the most athletic quarterback on the roster, but a bit raw as a passer. Forcier, an early enrollee, has the advantage of going through spring practice, when he took most of the reps after Sheridan fractured his right leg in March.

Sheridan said he’s healthy now and has been participating in off-season workouts since mid May.

More than that, the former walk-on said he’s better for what he went through last year - he completed 63 of 137 passes with two touchdowns and five interceptions - and determined to help lead Michigan back to its place among the conference elite.

“The expectations at Michigan are always going to be to compete for a championship, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change,” Sheridan said. “That’s our goal every year. That was our goal last year, and, obviously, we fell short.

“We haven’t won a Big Ten title here in a few years, and we’re going to go out there and try compete for one and try to put ourselves in a position to do that. That never changes at Michigan.”

Photo: Ann Arbor News file photo. In the photo: University of Michigan quarterback Nick Sheridan scrambles for yardage against the University of Minnesota last season.


Martin Olson

Thu, Feb 25, 2010 : 11:11 a.m.



Sat, Jul 25, 2009 : 11:30 a.m.

I do think that Forcier and Robinson should see early action this year, but I do not think Coach Rod should start either one. Michigan's program is rebuilding thats what we have to remember. Give these young men time to learn and grow with the program.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 11:55 a.m.

Henry: Ditto on Threet vs. Navarre..I've spent some time this past several months rewatching last year's games. Threet did nicely for a guy who clearly was not blessed with the ideal spread/scramble quarterback body type. As far as Nick, I think it'd be great if he could contribute..the quarterback is certainly more vulnerable in this type of offense, and it is a plus to have someone experienced who can "hold down the fort", both for a breather here and there, and for a legit. quality sub should a real injury occur.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 10:47 a.m.

Although I like that the tone of this piece has more color and flair than the dullness of the Ann Arbor Snooze, I think it is a stretch to call Threet "lead-footed" and "a statue." Dave - this is the same fanbase that saw John Navarre under center for over three seasons. They know what a real statue looks like.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 8:50 a.m.

This article is ridiculous. Unless Forcier and Robinson have their legs amputated I will come closer to seeing playing time than Sheridan, and for good reason, he is terrible. A subpar athlete with a weak arm, slow legs and poor decision making. This is UofM, not some scrub MAC school where people can win starting spots with "heart" or whatever you want to call it. Now I will go back to purging any memories I have left of watching either Sheridan or Threet play football.

Sherry Knight

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 7:50 a.m.

And the Saline connection is pretty cool.


Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 3:20 a.m.

I agree with Macabre Sunset's points. Sheridan is not an elite QB. Even had there been no coaching change at Michigan, Sheridan would have been at best a back up to Ryan Mallet. The only thing going for Sheridan right now is his full year of game experience under RR's system. However I suspect Forcier's Spring reps and talent will help him win the starting position by the first game. I'm very curious to see how the competition plays out especially with Robinson thrown into the mix. In any case the competition will be great for the team and will only serve to make the Wolverines better.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Jul 24, 2009 : 12:02 a.m.

It couldn't have been easy for Sheridan to play last season. But he was a bad fit for Rich Rod's system, and probably not good enough to play at most Div-I schools that use a drop-back qb anyway. He had his Rudy moment, though. More than a few. As fans, we need to move on to the Forcier/Robinson era quickly. I don't think I could handle another Sheridan start.

Jim Knight

Sun, Jul 19, 2009 : 8:37 a.m.

Greg: Good point about the one-victory 1934 Michigan team. There had to be some unhappy tailgaters that year, too.

Greg Dooley

Sat, Jul 18, 2009 : 8:11 p.m.

Nice piece. I'm in the minority-- I think Sheridan will start against Western in the opener and share snaps with Forcier. Can't wait to hear the fans explode when Rodriguez submits the lineup. One statement struck a nerve. While last season was a disaster it wasn't clearly "the worst season in Michigan football history." Such things are certainly subjective but I argue that distinction goes to the 1934 team (& MVP Gerald Ford) when Harry Kipke's squad was coming off back-to-back national championships and went 1-7 & were outscored 143-21. For what it's worth.