What will Mallett do?

This (first) edition poses the question as it applies to Ryan’s eligibility in college. Will he enroll early? Will he redshirt his freshman year?

The first factor in this decision will be Chad Henne. Will Chad go pro after his junior year, or stay for his senior season? This question may not be as ridiculous as it sounds to many Michigan fans. Henne is currently predicted as the 6th-best quarterback in the 2007 draft, with two of the prospects ahead of him (#2 Brian Brohm and #5 Kyle Wright) also soon-to-be juniors. If Henne has a great 2006 season, or of something happens that would move him up in the draft order (career and/or life-ending injury to Brady Quinn sounds pretty good), it may be more realistic an idea than it seems.

If Henne leaves early, the decision is a little more clear. As Michigan’s definite #1 guy, Mallett would not redshirt, and instead be the likely starter from day 1. The chance of this happening successfully would, of course, increase if Mallett were to enroll early and learn the offense in the spring. If he’s maybe not as good as we all think (hope?), he would sit behind the starter his freshman year, in which case he may take a redshirt.

If Henne doesn’t leave, the decision becomes a little more complicated. The important thing here is that I am not entirely clear on NCAA rules about whether a player can enroll early, in addition to taking a redshirt in their freshman year, and wind up with 4 remaining years of eligibility. I’m guessing that it’s possible, though I’ll have to look into this a little more.

If Henne stays, Mallett would either be the first backup right behind him, or redshirt, and have a year to get acclimated to the game at a college level, as well as Michigan’s offense. In my opinion, he should not take the redshirt, and instead get a little playing time in some real game action, to speed his development process. This would, of course, be preferred with an early enrollment, so that he’ll have a spring under his belt. If something were to happen to Henne, the capable backup would be there.

People may wonder why I think he should back up Henne (playing mostly mop-up duty), instead of redshirting, and maybe burning the shirt if Henne were to go down. For one thing, I think that game experience that he would get in mop-up duty would be beneficial, especially for his confidence since he’s moving up a level. Also, if he’s really as good as everyone thinks he is, he might leave early for the NFL. We may as well get as much playing time from him while he’s here if there is a risk for that.

However, it seems as though he intends to stay for at least four years, based on his “come with me and win 3” slogan. Unless he thinks he can take the starting job away from a senio Henne (doubtful), he would be the starter after that. After 3 seasons (all of which, according to Mallett, will end in NCs), he would be either a senior or redshirt junior. It sounds like he would leave early following his redshirt junior year, given the chance, so we might as well have him leave as a senior.

Thus, it is decided. Mallett should enroll this coming winter, and not redshirt the following year. This would be the best for both the Michigan program and his development as a quarterback.

Posted under Analysis

Comments are closed.

More Blog Post

Previous Post: