Shea Patterson on being Wolverines' QB: 'Once in a lifetime'

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Shea Patterson understands the gravity of the situation.

Being named the starting quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines was something he and his father, Sean, had talked about since he was a toddler in Toledo, Ohio. Now those talks have become reality, and Patterson has a shot to help turn around an offense that needs him more than ever.

"It's once in a lifetime," Patterson said. "Not many people can look back and say they got the opportunity to be the quarterback at the University of Michigan. Coach [Jim] Harbaugh being a team captain and All-American here; now he's the coach. How many people get to do that?

"He's getting us prepared like no other. He's the best coach I've ever been around and he's making the most of his opportunity. And so will I."

Patterson was officially named the starter on Monday after beating out Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey and true freshman Joe Milton in fall camp. Having the luxury of being able to play this season after transferring from Ole Miss amid NCAA violation sanctions was made possible by a waiver for immediate eligibility granted by the NCAA.

For a short period of time, Patterson wasn't sure whether the NCAA would allow him to play this season. He was told of the news while on Michigan's spring trip to Paris and knew then that the stakes were even higher.

"That was definitely a crazy time in my college career," Patterson said. "Just making the transformation from being ineligible and that process coming over here in the spring, not really knowing if I was going to be able to play this year. But with the mindset I had, I was just attacking each day and that's where the coaching staff did a really good job of getting me in there, getting me the reps I needed.

"My mindset was just attack every day like I was going to play. But, yeah, when I finally found out in Paris [that he was eligible], that was an amazing feeling."

Michigan's offense was ranked 110th in passing yards per game and 105th in total yards per game among all FBS teams last season. The Wolverines went 8-5, cycling through quarterbacks: Wilton Speight initially started until sustaining an injury; John O'Korn filled in after the injury; Peters took over until sustaining an injury of his own; and O'Korn finished off the season.

The disappointment of last season has created even more anticipation in 2018. The hype around Patterson's arrival has been monumental for Michigan fans hoping he can stabilize the position and the offense.

And while Patterson doesn't necessarily pay attention to outside noise, he knows that all eyes are on him in Ann Arbor.

"We're all men here, I think we all understand what lies ahead of us and what needs to be done," Patterson said. "The work ethic has to be through the roof, and I think as an offense, we understand how good our defense is. The biggest thing we stressed on over the fall camp is just getting better. Getting better every single day. Don't make the same mistakes you made yesterday."

Even though he has been with the team for only a short amount of time, Patterson says he believes this offense is headed in the right direction. Comparing the offense preparing against Michigan's highly touted defense to iron sharpening iron, Patterson smirked when asked what the offense would look like this season, saying it would be a little bit of everything.

The offense is going to need that confidence as it looks to push forward from last season.

"Ultimately, with the defense we have, the special teams that we have, the coaching staff and the playmakers, offensively we just have to manage games and put the ball in the end zone," Patterson said. "Nobody's expectations will be bigger than ours."