Hoke: Michigan QB job up for grabs in spring

The Sports Xchange

February 04, 2014 at 5:12 pm.

Devin Gardner will be in the running for Michigan's starting QB job next season. (Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner returns next season after starting all 12 regular-season games in 2013, but there is no guarantee that he will keep the job.

Coach Brady Hole told reporters this week that he plans to open up competition at the position, beginning in spring practice on Feb. 25.

Gardner and sophomore Shane Morris appear to be the two candidate who will vie for the job. Gardner will be restricted during the spring because of a foot injury that occurred during the Wolverines’ regular-season-ending 42-21 loss to Ohio State and kept him out of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in December.

Gardner threw for 2,960 yards and 21 touchdowns with 11 interceptions last year, but the Michigan offense had trouble moving the ball in losses to Michigan State and Iowa. Morris started the bowl game and passed for 196 yards and rushed for 43 in a 31-14 loss to Kansas State.

“I thought (Morris) did a really good job of being composed,” Hoke told “He did a great job with his preparation and I thought he represented himself well in that game. I think he probably surprised some people with how athletic he is. … He surprised me even a little bit.

“The way he prepared I thought was really good. The way he performed, first time out being the starting quarterback, (was really good). Are there things he needs to do better? Yes. Are there things he did well? Yes.”

Other possible quarterback contenders are Wilton Speight, an early enrollee, and Russell Bellomy, who missed the 2013 season with an ACL injury.

The Wolverines finished 7-6 last season.