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Thursday, July 12, 2007

So, right, we now have a second quarterback in the 2007 class. Steven Threet of Adrian is transferring from Georgia Tech. What does Michigan have in Threet? A pretty good quarterback, it looks. Both Scout and Rivals gave him four stars -- he was in the Rivals 250 last year -- and ranked him high among the available quarterbacks in a strong year for the position. Scout had him #13, Rivals #9. ESPN is a huge outlier, ranking him only the 65th best quarterback in the '07 class. Which is, like, David Cone territory and doesn't seem to match up with a generally positive scouting report (more on that later).

Orson's lingering suspicion than any lanky, immobile, pale 6'6" guy he meets on the street is, will be, or has been a Michigan quarterback gets stronger with every passing day, as Threet fits the Michigan quarterback MO to a tee. He is indeed 6'6" and criticisms leveled at him are usually along the lines of "graceful as a water buffalo"; he offsets said criticisms with a big arm and the proverbial headiness that all nice young men with good standardized tests are credited with when the media discusses them. ESPN's Threet scouting report:

Has the arm to place the ball anywhere on the field and is very accurate. He stands tall in the pocket, keeps his eyes downfield and does an excellent job working his way through progressions. ... He makes good, quick decisions and rarely forces the ball. He has just enough movement skills to avoid within the pocket and buy a second passing chance. ...not an elusive athlete. He is not a guy you want on the perimeter; is at his best in the pocket. ... For such a tall player, he releases the ball low and his elbow sinks, very much like Vince Young. This negates his great natural height and can cause batted balls. His footwork can be inconsistent and drop speed needs to improve. [paging John Navarre! -ed] .... He is smart and heady. [see? see? -ed]
The above mechanics criticism -- the first and last time Threet will be compared to Vince Young -- is echoed by Rivals' Mike Farrell:
Michigan quarterback Steven Threet looked great physically but his footwork lacked and he dropped his arm a bit on his release.
Threet was impressive in his short time at Georgia Tech, slotting into the #2 spot on the depth chart behind Tyler Bennett almost immediately:
The main challenge will likely come from freshman Steven Threet, an imposing 6-foot-5, 230-pound prospect who enrolled early so he could take part in spring drills.

"Taylor's got the lead right now, but I want to see Steven go out there and compete and do the best he can," Gailey said. "If Taylor continues to play well and wins the job, what if we go to Notre Dame (for the season opener) and he gets sick the night before the game? We've to have a quarterback the next day. Somebody's going to play. We don't know who that's going to be right now."

Threet was clearly the second option in the GT spring game, getting a series with the first team offense and finishing 7-11 for 51 yards and a touchdown. And the following praise comes with a full Tom Deinhart Stupidity Warning, but it was a collaboration with Rivals' Jeremy Crabtree so maybe this has a smidgen of truth in it. They're comparing '07 recruits to '06 recruits:
Georgia Tech's Steven Threet (Adrian, Mich.) is like Georgia's Matthew Stafford. Sure, Taylor Bennett looked good in the Yellow Jackets' bowl game, but Georgia Tech might consider opening its quarterbacks competition with Threet climbing aboard. Why? Because the big, strong-arm Threet (6-5, 230) is a classic dropback passer whose package of acumen and skills might allow him to start right away.
Of course, when Threet's transfer was announced all the actual practicing and praise he got went out the window for poorly-founded theories of a fear of competition:
No need, though, for alarm. Threet might have been No. 2 this season, but that’s a definite “might.” If he won that job, and I don’t think he was going to, it would have been by a hair over Calvin Booker and/or Josh Nesbitt. With Taylor Bennett in position to handle the next two seasons, there is plenty of time for Tech to plan/recruit so that two years from now, when Threet most likely would’ve been a real factor, the Jackets will have filled in that hole.

My hunch is that after having a so-so spring when it became apparent that Bennett would be the man for the next two seasons and that Calvin Booker is at least a little (and maybe more) better than some thought, Threet gave matters some thought.

He was, from what I have been told, an outstanding student, but I think fellow freshman QB Josh Nesbitt showed up last month and began working out with other players, and although those workouts are limited in their form by NCAA rules, there is a pretty good chance that Threet got an eyeful.

Next, a top QB prospect, Renfree of Scottsdale, Ariz., commited to Tech and said he was going to redshirt in 2008, and begin competing in ‘09. I know some have said he was homesick, and I haven’t spoken with Steven so you can call me crazy (and be right). But my theory is he didn’t like the writing he foresaw on the wall.

A transfer to Michigan obviously blows that theory all to hell; you don't transfer into the same recruiting class as Ryan Mallett to lessen the competition you face. That guy is also the one who wrote the YAY TECH article on Threet's transfer that drew FanHouse ire. It's kind of sad when the AJC blog specifically positioned as a fan's view on GT athletics is more objective than the actual beat guy's effort.

Editorial Opinion: Obviously Michigan is done at quarterback this year. With Mallett, Cone, Threet, and Wienke on the roster going forward Michigan finally has some QB depth, assuming that they all stay.

Also! If you want a mug or t-shirt with Threet's stony visage on it, you are in luck.

Update: Free Press article; AJC article. AJC article has some rationale:

"The biggest thing is that the two coaches that recruited me took jobs at other schools, and that happened after I got there," Threet said. "Nothing against the other coaches because I like them, [offensive coordinator John] Bond and [Liam] Klein. It was just a different situation.

"People have been asking if it was homesickness, or classes were too hard, or if it was all the competition at Tech," Threet said from Ann Arbor, Mich., after visiting Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr Thursday with his parents. "It was not any of those at all. I had a 3.76 grade-point my first semester, and the competition here is as good or better."