Harbaugh Adds Tough Leadership Component to Lacking Offense
By Mackenzie Richardson
recruiting class contains many solid players, but does it include the starting
Jim Harbaugh was given a short amount of time to save a
recruiting class that declined to just six recruits after Brady Hoke was fired.Coming off of a disappointing 5-7 season,
Michigan’s offense was mostly to blame for the inconsistency and eventual collapse
of the team.Coming into the 2015
season, Michigan’s offense is even more questionable with the loss of key
players to the NFL, transfers and graduation.
Signing day brought possible answers to the Wolverines,
particularly on offense and especially at quarterback with the additions of
Zach Gentry and Alex Malzone.This isn’t
to say that Shane Morris doesn’t have a shot at starting this year.Shane Morris does have a slight advantage, having
some experience, but the incoming competition will be fierce.
Zach Gentry, a four star recruit out of Albuquerque New
Mexico, is a 6’ 7” 237 Ibs pocket passer, capable of withstanding pressure and
hard contact.Despite his impressive
height and size, he is an agile athlete.While his mechanics may need improving, he is the type of pocket passer
that won’t be easily rattled.He has the
composure and awareness to extend plays with his feet.While he’s fast for his size he won’t be the
fastest Division 1 quarterback, but he will be capable of picking up decent yards
if need be.The right coaching and some
practice in mechanics could make Gentry remind you of Tom Brady.It might even be enough to get the starting
Alex Malzone is another four star pocket passer.At 6’ 1” 203 Ibs, he isn’t the biggest quarterback
but he makes up for it with his quickness and accuracy.As a passer he can read defenses well, and recognize
openings in the defense, allowing him to deliver an accurate and catchable
ball.His confidence shows when he
throws a 30+ yard pass through a small window between a safety and his receiver.This has its perks and its drawbacks.His accuracy shows best in situations that
require patiently, but quickly, identifying open receivers, but a coach may
find Malzone’s confidence in throwing long passes into tight spaces
arrogant.That said, he has the
completions to back up his confidence.
Malzone reminds me of Shane Morris in his first game at
Michigan.Shane Morris showed impressive
speed and accuracy in the game against Central Michigan two years ago.Malzone, as a freshman, may find the speed
and physical play of College football difficult to handle at first, but his
potential is just too good for Harbaugh to pass on.
Harbaugh’s offensive system requires his pieces to be set in
place according to his plan.To rebuild
Michigan’s offensive unit he’ll need players who can be molded into what he
needs.Morris has shown to be moldable,
but he is coming off a season of injuries that could slow him down.Gentry and Malzone as freshmen are his moldable
pieces but they lack experience.This is
the challenge for Harbaugh.
In the end, it won’t be surprising if Shane Morris is the
starter, but it will not be an easily won position.Consistency and comfort in the new system
will come into play when the starter is chosen.