Is Joe Milton the Answer at Michigan?

By: Jesse Balasus

Jesse Balasus
Football Analyst

“There’s football players, and then there’s Football players.” -Jim Harbaugh

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Jake Rudock, Wilton Speight, John O’Korn, Brandon Peters, Shea Patterson, and now Joe Milton. Jim Harbaugh is entering his sixth year as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, and the biggest question surrounding him, aside from if he can win a big game, is when will he have a game-changing quarterback? Dare I say it will be Joe Milton.

Picture this, it’s October 24, 7:30 p.m. Michigan vs Minnesota just kicked off and you see a mountain of a man under center for the Wolverines. That man is Joe Milton. A 6-foot-6, 235lb redshirt sophomore from Orlando, who runs an unofficial 4.5 40, and can throw a pigskin 80 yards in the air. Did I mention he has been compared to Cam Newton? Urban Meyer even said so himself during the Big Ten schedule reveal show on Fox.

“Let me tell you real quick about Milton,” Meyer said. “During our game, in the pregame warmups, I’d always walk over, start looking at their personnel, check them out. And I was like, ‘Who is that cat?’ That is a Cam Newton lookalike. And he’s got a hose and he can run. They need to perform at that position.”

Now, Milton hasn’t really shown much in his limited snaps the past two seasons — a measly 6-11 for 117 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. He has also ran for 47 yards and two scores on 12 total attempts. These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt though, as he was the Wolverines’ third-string quarterback for the past two seasons, behind starter Shea Patterson and backup Dylan McCaffrey.

Many expected McCaffrey to earn the starting role this year, but Milton, after working out like crazy all offseason with former Michigan quarterback, Devin Gardner, won the job and some sources say it wasn’t even close.

My god he even looks amazing in shorts.

Milton is set to be the first quarterback recruited by Jim Harbaugh to start for the Wolverines, and although it’s in a weird 10-game, Covid-shortened season, he could possibly be Harbaugh’s answer. He has experience in the offense, unlike any of his predecessors, since this is Josh Gattis’ second year as offensive coordinator for the maize and blue. Milton is built for this offense because he’ll actually tuck the ball and run on read options, unlike Patterson who looked as if he was scared the last two years. Plus, as stated earlier, he can launch that thing 80 yards with just a flick of the wrist, unlike Patterson who couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.

Am I saying he’s going to break every record and go undefeated while destroying Ohio State on his way to a national championship? No, (except on Twitter where I go full blown homer). But I am saying that Milton is the most athletic quarterback Harbaugh has had at Michigan, and he’s in the best position to compete unlike the previous five starters before.

BUT, if Milton does set the world on fire and winds up beating Ohio State, leads Michigan to the Playoff, and is a Heisman finalist … don’t act like I didn’t warn you.

Dammit I can’t wait for the Big Ten to be back.