Ann Arbor — With three potential Ole Miss football transfers reportedly visiting Michigan this weekend, outgoing UM defensive lineman Maurice Hurst said the Wolverines should embrace the competition.
Shea Patterson, the No. 1 quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class, will be visiting Michigan, along with Ole Miss teammates Deontay Anderson, a safety, and receiver Van Jefferson. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was in Oxford, Miss., earlier in the week and reportedly met with the players who are exploring transfer options in light of Ole Miss’ latest NCAA sanctions that include missing another bowl next season.
Hurst said Thursday he has no issues adding transfers.
“I think it’s always a good thing to have sort of competition,” Hurst said. “I’ve always been one to believe that competition brings out the best in everyone. I think that’s kind of where Coach Harbaugh is probably going with this. He’s probably thinking that I can bring in some great players from Ole Miss, kinda guys that have already sort of proven themselves.
“They’ll be a great addition to the team. It’s just adding another great dimension to a team that’s already pretty good.”
While the transfers don’t affect Hurst, he was asked what it would mean for, say, the quarterbacks with Patterson potentially joining the team. Redshirt freshman Brandon Peters, who is the No. 1 quarterback in bowl preparations, made three starts late in the season but suffered a concussion in the Wisconsin game and missed the Ohio State game. Freshman Dylan McCaffrey is redshirting this year.
Wilton Speight, who won the starting job the last two seasons, has decided transfer, as has backup quarterback Alex Malzone.
“I feel like for football, you shouldn’t let your feelings get hurt,” Hurst said. “If you have someone coming in and they’re better than you and they play over you, then they’re better than you. That’s just what it is. I think it’s always competition. If you’re the best quarterback you’re going to play, if you’re the best running back you’re going to play. You’re the best D-lineman, you’re going to play. That’s sort of how things go.”
Senior linebacker Mike McCray said that like any recruit coming in, transfers have to compete for jobs and no one should feel threatened.
“You can’t worry about the next guy coming in or coming from a different school,” McCray said. “You can only control what you can control.”
McCray said he has only seen a bit of the coverage of the potential Ole Miss transfers and understands why they would want to land in Ann Arbor.
“They want to come to one of the best schools in the nation,” he said. “I can’t knock them for it. It’s going to be good competition for our team and help the team improve as well.”