Jake Rudock being hailed as perfect fit for Michigan
IOWA CITY — Though an official announcement hasn't been made, Jake Rudock is already being hailed as a splendid addition to the Michigan football program.
ESPN on Friday rated the soon-to-be-former-Iowa quarterback one of the Big Ten Conference's "five impact transfers" in 2015.
Rudock, who the Big Ten said this week has been granted a key waiver for immediate eligibility in Ann Arbor, "can give new coach Jim Harbaugh a year to develop his other players while providing a consistent presence under center," ESPN's Dan Murphy wrote.
Rudock leaves Iowa as its No. 8 all-time passer with 4,819 yards in 25 career games, all as a starter while compiling a 14-11 record. He was intercepted just 18 times, or on 2.6 percent of his 691 career attempts — a ball-security stat that Harbaugh was known for as a player and now as a coach.
Rudock's five interceptions last fall (on 345 attempts) were the fewest by any Big Ten starter.
"If you watched him play at Iowa, a lot of times they didn't give him much help," his high school coach at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, George Smith, told the Detroit Free Press. "But I don't think you saw any facial expressions change. He's kind of an unflappable guy."
In early January, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz made the decision to move junior-to-be C.J. Beathard ahead of Rudock on the depth chart, which prompted the 6-foot-3, 208-pound quarterback to look at graduate-transfer options for his final season of eligibility.
The University of Iowa didn't plan to announce Rudock's move, saying it would let his new school handle it when it becomes official — much like its practice when an assistant coach is hired at another program.
"It's weird. I never thought he'd be going to Michigan," Beathard said Wednesday, asking reporters if the move was official. "I wish him the best of luck. I was a friend of his. I know he would wish me the best of luck, too."
Michigan's coaching staff hasn't been enamored with any of its immediate quarterback options, which is why social-media has been abuzz this week welcoming Rudock as an ideal stopgap in Harbaugh's Year 1.
"He is a pro-formation style player, and so he needs a strong offensive line, a strong running game to really flourish," Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo told the Free Press. "He's that type of quarterback. And in that offense, I think he can be very good."
Michigan's spring game, by the way, is Saturday. Rudock would be eligible to join the Wolverines after he graduates from Iowa this spring.
MICHIGAN'S 2015 SCHEDULE
Sept. 3 — at Utah
Sept. 12 — vs. Oregon State
Sept. 19 — vs. UNLV
Sept. 26 — vs. Brigham Young
Oct. 3 — at Maryland
Oct. 10 — vs. Northwestern
Oct. 17 — vs. Michigan State
Oct. 31 — at Minnesota
Nov. 7 — vs. Rutgers
Nov. 14 — at Indiana
Nov. 21 — at Penn State
Nov. 28 — vs. Ohio State