close
close

First-year Michigan coach Sherrone Moore could show some of his QB options in the spring game

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Sherrone Moore will have a lot of big decisions to make in his first season as Michigan’s coach, leading the defending national champions after Jim Harbaugh took over to coach the Los Angeles Chargers.

Who he chooses at quarterback will be closely watched this season.

Moore has plenty of options, including the speedy Alex Orji and the experienced Jack Tuttle. Being a smart coach, and not one in his first year, he dodged the question of whether the job could be shared.

“We’ll see,” he said with a grin.

Fans will see Moore’s picks under center for the first time when the Wolverines wrap up spring ball Saturday at Michigan Stadium.

JJ McCarthy, who skipped his senior year to enter the NFL draft, led Michigan to its first national title since 1997 and a third straight Big Ten crown.

He leaves big cleats to fill.

Orji, Tuttle and Jayden Denegal each scored in six games last season and Davis Warren appeared in three games, playing sparingly as McCarthy’s backup.

The 6-foot-2, 236-pound Orji was used as a running threat at times last season, including in the national championship game when he had two carries for 15 yards and when he had a 20-yard run to help the Wolverines beating rival Ohio State for the third year in a row. In total, he had 15 carries for 86 yards and a score.

“Obviously he’s a crazy athlete,” Moore said. “Running the football is what he really has, that’s a different element than the other guys we’ve seen in the past, but it’s not like he can’t throw. He can do that and he throws pretty well.”

Tuttle, who turns 25 this month, has the most experience in the group. He is entering his sixth season of college football and his second year at Michigan after throwing passes in four seasons at Indiana.

“Uncle Jack, they’re calling him,” Moore said. “A man who has played a lot of football. He has a great arm, great running ability, can be a dual-threat guy, but is also very cerebral in the pocket.

Although Orji didn’t attempt a pass last year, Tuttle was 15 of 17 for 130 yards with a touchdown.

The 6-5 Denegal was 4 of 5 for 50 yards and a touchdown.

“Probably more of a pocket passer,” Moore said.

The 6-2, 195-pound Warren didn’t complete any of his five passes last season and had an interception.

“A little bit smaller in stature, but very cerebral with a good arm,” Moore said.

Jaydyn Davis, a four-star recruit, enrolled early this spring as a freshman to help him adjust to college both on and off the field.

“I’m really excited about him,” Moore said. “He picked things up really quickly, but with a freshman you never know. So we’ll see, but he has all the capabilities.”

Michigan’s quarterback will have the added challenge of playing behind an offensive line without a returning starter.

The Wolverines will have a dynamic running back, Donovan Edwards, and tight end, Colston Loveland, to take some of the pressure off their new quarterback.

Michigan’s defense will be led by perhaps the best pair of tackles on any college football team, Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant up front and All-Big Ten cornerback Will Johnson on the back end.

Follow Larry Lage https://twitter.com/larrylage

Receive notifications about the latest AP Top 25 poll all season long. Register here.

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football