Attorney 'encouraged' by steps in Shea Patterson's waiver request

Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson's request to play in 2018 took an encouraging step forward in recent days, according to an attorney helping him with the process.

The NCAA asked for additional information from Michigan and Patterson late last week after reviewing the school's request to allow him to forgo the usual yearlong waiting period after his transfer. The former Ole Miss quarterback transferred this winter after learning that NCAA sanctions against the Rebels would be more severe than previously expected.

Patterson and several of his former Ole Miss teammates have asked the NCAA to allow them to play right away because they say they were misled by their former coaches.

Attorney Thomas Mars, who represents Patterson and several other erstwhile Ole Miss players, said the NCAA's request for more information is not uncommon and that he expects Patterson and Michigan will be able to respond in the next few days. Mars said there's no specific timetable for when they expect a final answer, but it's clear "the NCAA isn't dragging their feet on the waiver request and won't take any more time than is necessary."

"I'm encouraged by this particular request," Mars said. "From my perspective, the questions Shea's case manager asked are the right ones to be asking."

Michigan submitted the waiver request to the NCAA in late February. Patterson has been practicing with the Wolverines this spring while he and the rest of the team await word on his eligibility. After Michigan's first spring practice in March, coach Jim Harbaugh said he was happy with Patterson's performance. Harbaugh said quarterback reps were going to be evenly distributed during the spring.

Patterson, if he's cleared to play, will be battling for a starting job with redshirt sophomore Brandon Peters and redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey -- another former five-star prospect -- among others. Harbaugh also told reporters in March that former starter Wilton Speight hasn't closed the door on a return to Ann Arbor. Speight was Michigan's No. 1 QB in 2017 before suffering a season-ending spinal injury. He announced plans to graduate and transfer to a new school in December but might change his mind.

Michigan will play its spring game on April 14 before finishing its spring practices in France later in the month.