Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier ruled ineligible for Gator Bowl
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A season that started with one nasty surprise for Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier ended with another Thursday.
The sophomore quarterback was ruled ineligible for the Gator Bowl according to Michigan officials, who said in a written statement that Forcier “did not meet university standards and is ineligible to participate.”
Forcier left the team Thursday evening and boarded a flight back to Detroit at the Jacksonville International Airport.
After starting for Michigan last season as a true freshman, Forcier found out prior to the season opener that he had been relegated to the third string behind Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner.
But Forcier elevated himself to the backup spot, where he became a reliable contributor for the 2010 Wolverines. He appeared in eight games in relief of Robinson, and completed 54 of 84 passes for 597 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.
His absence complicates matters for the Wolverines offense in Saturday’s game.
Although the oft-injured Robinson is healthy, his backup is now uncertain. Rodriguez said last Saturday that he hoped to seek a medical redshirt for Gardner, who has endured lower-back issues throughout the season.
But if Gardner played in the Gator Bowl, his opportunity to even make a case for a medical redshirt would be squashed.
Jack Kennedy is the only other quarterback on the team’s roster, and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon has played Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf on the scout team during practice.
Pete Bigelow covers Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at (734) 623-2556, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.