It’s no secret Jim Harbaugh is one of the elite offensive minds within the college football landscape. His track record of developing quarterbacks coming into the 2015 season was well known, and yet he managed to up his game even higher by turning the coveted “game manager” Iowa grad-transfer Jake Rudock into a deadly passer from the pocket and a game changer by seasons end. With a stable full of quarterbacks on the 2016 roster who will be battling for the starting spot, and a coach with a history of getting the most out of an individual at that position.The answer to one of Michigan’s biggest off-season concerns may not be a matter of will they find a leader, but more who will it be? I’m not one to question Jim Harbaugh. The old saying of “he’s forgotten more than you will ever know” applies between him and I; but I just can’t help but look at a Redshirt Junior Houston transfer John O’Korn as the odds on favorite to lead a highly touted wolverine team in 2016.
O’Korn stood out in the American Athletic Conference in 2013; setting records at the University of Houston with 3,117 passing yards and 28 touchdowns, while completing 58 percent of his passes with a quarterback rating of 133. Which led him to earning himself Rookie of the Year honors. Take a look at his freshmen highlights, you will find a quarterback with the size, arm strength, and ability to excel in any conference.
Following his standout freshman year, O’Korn was forced to adjust to a new offensive coordinator when Doug Meachem left for TCU. Struggling in a new offense that stylistically did not match his strengths, after throwing just six touchdowns and eight picks through five games he lost his starting spot. Losing the starting spot, and the hire of a new head coach along with a phone call from Jim Harbaugh it didn’t take long before O’korn was heading north.
O’Korn, will be a junior as far as eligibility goes next season. Although he was unable to play in 2015 per NCAA transfer rules, he spent each and every day running the scout team for the Wolverines. That and more importantly involved in the day-to-day teaching from Harbaugh and Jedd Fisch could very well spell disaster for opposing defenses this fall. Word around campus is O’korn is a super competitor with a will to win, sounds familiar right? A tweet sent out by O’korn in November expressed thanks for being benched in Houston which gave him the opportunity to come play under Harbaugh. Fast forward a year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wolverine fans will be feeling the same way in the fall of 2016.
– Mike Swagart