The Michigan football team’s void at center could be filled by graduate transfer Jake Raulerson, who was penciled in as the starting center at Texas.
When Jim Harbaugh took over the Michigan Wolverines coaching job a year ago, his major concern was to find a replacement for Devin Gardner at quarterback.
Southpaw Shane Morris was expected to inherit the job since he was the only quarterback with any game experience. Over two seasons, Morris played in ten games, starting only twice. He completed 49 percent of his passes with five interceptions and no touchdowns.
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Shane’s only real competition came from redshirt freshman Wilton Speight, early enrollee Alex Malzone and incoming freshman Zach Gentry.
Rudock wins starting QB job
Harbaugh, if only to increase the position’s competition, brought in grad-transfer Jake Rudock, who had started at Iowa during most of the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Rudock won the starting job in fall camp, then led the Wolverines to a 10-3 record including a near-win over Michigan State and a convincing 41-7 triumph over Florida in the Citrus Bowl.
Harbaugh has a similar situation pending for 2016. Starting center Graham Glasgow graduated, thus creating an opportunity for either backup Patrick Kugler or perhaps Mason Cole to take over. Cole would move to center from left tackle.
Grad transfer at center?
Kugler, who was the nation’s No. 1 center recruit back in 2013 according to 247Sports, appears to be a shoe-in, partially due to genetics. His brother Robert was a center at Purdue and his father Sean is currently the head coach at UTEP.
It’s possible Harbaugh will go the grad-transfer route. He’s already offered former Texas center Jake Raulerson who will be visiting Ann Arbor Thursday (Jan. 15).
Should Raulerson enroll at Michigan, he will have two years of eligibility remaining. Ironically, the 6-4, 295 lb. “prospect” was also a member of the 2013 recruiting class. From Celina HS (Texas), Raulerson was rated as the nation’s No. 2 center (behind Kugler) by 247Sports.
More grad transfers
Harbaugh played two other grad-transfers in 2015. Blake O’Neil, a 5th-year punter originally from Melbourne, Australia, played in all 13 games for Michigan, averaging 41.3 yards-per-punt and landing 23 of 53 kicks inside the 20.
Wayne Lyons, who transferred from Stanford, participated in 13 games for the Wolverines, two as a reserve cornerback and the balance on special teams.
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