Despite rough spring game, Wilton Speight still tops Michigan's quarterback depth chart

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USA TODAY

Despite rough spring game, Wilton Speight still tops Michigan's quarterback depth chart

Wilton Speight is still on top of Michigan's quarterback depth chart, despite the fact that the incumbent starter had an ugly performance in the Wolverines' spring game.

Speight threw two interceptions and completed just nine of his 26 passing attempts in the spring's fanciest scrimmage. But Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Wednesday that Speight is still ahead of everyone at the game's most important position.

"It'll always be (a competition,)" Harbaugh said in Detroit, his quotes published by the Detroit Free Press. "Still over the course of the whole spring practice, Wilton on our depth chart, he's No. 1. But it's a meritocracy. By your effort and by your talent you will be known. That's a good thing for our football team.

"We get it in camp and we go through camp, somebody that stands out and it's undeniable, that's what we're looking for, there's that one guy. Probably eight, nine, 10 practices, that's probably the range where you make up your mind on something like that. It's always going to be that meritocracy."

The challengers are John O'Korn, who was No. 2 to Speight last season, and Brandon Peters, a freshman from Indiana who had a nice spring game with 160 yards and a touchdown on just nine completions as well as a rushing touchdown.

Speight completed 61.6 percent of his passes last season, throwing for 2,538 yards and 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. O'Korn completed 20 of his 34 passing attempts in game action last season, throwing for 173 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Peters was ranked as a top-160 recruit nationally by Rivals, a four-star prospect and the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2016.

Unsurprisingly for the always-secretive Harbaugh, the head coach said the quarterback competition will be ongoing and last for some time. It would be no shock to see things play out much like they did last season, when Michigan's starting quarterback was a mystery until the offense took the field in the season-opener.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Michigan LB Ben Gedeon

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Michigan LB Ben Gedeon

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Ben Gedeon, LB, Michigan

6'2" | 244 lbs.

2016 stats:

94 tackles, 15 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 2 passes defended

Projection:

Sixth round

Scouting Report:

"Gedeon has ample size and talent to become an NFL backup at middle linebacker, but his bread will be buttered as a special teams performer as he has the instincts and fearlessness needed to succeed in that area. He can step in and get you through a game at inside linebacker, but his lack of speed and short area quickness could be picked at on the next level." - Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh pens glowing Time 100 blurb for Colin Kaepernick

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USA TODAY

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh pens glowing Time 100 blurb for Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick has been a divisive figure over the past year. One person squarely on the pro-Kaepernick side, though, is his former coach, Jim Harbaugh.

Kaepernick was named to Time's list of the 100 most influential people, and in the tradition of celebrities writing the blurbs for each honoree, Kaepernick's short profile was penned by Harbaugh, the current coach at Michigan and former coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Harbaugh, who coached Kaepernick for four seasons and oversaw Kaepernick leading the team to Super Bowl XLVII, wrote a glowing and frankly excellent assessment of Kaepernick and his actions protesting during the national anthem.

Here's what Harbaugh wrote:

"Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

"Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or — most important — harming our own personal interests.

"I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

"How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick."

Harbaugh has shown little shyness when it comes to stepping into the spotlight over hot-button issues, a trait not necessarily common in college football coaches looking to offend no one — except for the referees they scream at every Saturday.

Harbaugh visited the White House multiple times during Barack Obama's presidency and attended a rally featuring Obama stumping for Hillary Clinton on the University of Michigan campus during the lead-up to last year's presidential election. He's also tweeted his opinion about a specific government program.