The last time Michigan underwent a coaching transition, Ryan Mallett walked out the door towards stardom at Arkansas. And it's not looking much better for the Wolverines this go-round, either, with Denard Robinson notably non-committal in the wake of Michigan's Gator Bowl defeat and Tate Forcier not even enrolled in the school, as reported today by the Michigan Daily :
Forcier, a Sport Management major in the School of Kinesiology, was academically ineligible to play in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. on Jan. 1.With Jan. 25 as the final date to add classes at Michigan, there remains the possibility that Forcier will re-enroll. And after older brother Chris Forcier transferred out of Michigan several years ago only to be unable to find traction with any other programs, the family has said they're not interested in going the transfer route.
In an interview this morning with The Michigan Daily, the representative in the registrar’s office said Robert Patrick Forcier was not enrolled in classes the University as of Jan. 12.
But that was before much of the rockiness of this season, when Forcier was beaten out for the starting job by Robinson in the spring, had his work ethic publicly criticized by teammate Troy Woolfolk (who was then, stunningly, praised for his actions by Rich Rodriguez ), watched Robinson become the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, and finally was forced to sit out the bowl game with academic issues. Considering that Forcier had been hailed as a true freshman savior just 12 months prior, Forcier's 2010 in Ann Arbor must have been a crushing disappointment.
With the expected arrival of West Coast offense coordinator Al Borges, Forcier could have an opportunity to earn back the Michigan job; Borges' pro-style attack seems much better suited to the more-accurate arm of Forcier than the dynamic legs of Robinson, who may not even bother to try to win the job in the first place. But a fresh start somewhere else may simply be too tempting for Forcier at this point, and if Robinson follows him out of town, redshirt freshman Devin Gardner will be the Wolverines' 2011 quarterback by default.
Gardner's got a ton of talent. But another year with a first-time starter at the controls -- the fourth straight for Michigan -- isn't what anyone in Ann Arbor would prefer.
UPDATE: Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed at Brady Hoke's introductory press conference that Forcier is not currently a member of the Wolverine program. It would appear that Forcier's time at Michigan is all but officially over.