ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper may have just made the hearts of every Michigan football fan skip a beat.
During his radio show with SEC Network anchor Dari Nowkhah, titled Dari and Mel, on Tuesday, the two put together lists of their top six teams for the upcoming college football season. In the segment — called “Way Too Early Top 6” — Kiper ranked Michigan as his No. 6 team, but with one condition.
Kiper believes that if newly-transferred quarterback Shea Patterson is eligible to play with the Wolverines in 2018, that Michigan will be a top-6 team come season’s end.
“I’m going to throw in a player that is critical to whether this team will be in the mix [as a top six team],” Kiper said. “Shea Patterson is on campus, he’s enrolled in Michigan, he’s been there since January. Will he be available to play at Michigan this year? That’s not decided yet, still an unknown. If not it’s Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey kind of vying for that job. [Patterson] has a ton of talent, I think talent at Michigan that they can win with.”
Kiper also praised Michigan’s stout defense. He said that Michigan’s defense paired with Patterson being under center on the offensive side of the ball will lead to tremendous success in Ann Arbor.
“[Michigan’s] got a lot of players,” Kiper said.
“If Shea Patterson is under center, I think Michigan could catapult into the top 10,” he added. “Maybe into the top six.”
However, as Kiper states, Michigan is still unsure on whether Patterson will be eligible to play in 2018 or not. Patterson and several other players from Ole Miss transferred from the school, claiming that former coach Hugh Freeze misled them about the NCAA putting sanctions down on the school.
As a result, Patterson and the players that transferred are looking for immediate eligibility this upcoming season. Normally when a player transfers, they are forced to sit out for one season before being able to play. But there is a strong chance that those players are granted eligibility due to Freeze misleading them.
If Patterson is eligible for the 2018 college football season, there is a chance the Kiper’s bold prediction will be accurate.
To listen to the full podcast, click HERE.
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