Hoke Stays Neutral On Wolverines QB Competition

Apr 20, 2014 7:17 PM EST

If the quarterback competition between senior-to-be Devin Gardner and upcoming sophomore Shane Morris is all a farce, coach Brady Hoke is doing his darndest to maintain appearances.

"I thought Shane had a good spring," Hoke said, according to MLive.com. "Was it flawless? No. But I think he learned more about the urgency that he has to have to be the quarterback at Michigan.  

"I thought he had a good spring."  

Hoke, along with Will Muschamp at Florida, may be the most high-profile coach everyone assumes is fighting for his job this season. An improved defense may be the most significant factor, but getting more consistent production from the Michigan quarterback is high on that list. Most presume that Gardner will start. Morris didn't perform well in replacing the former in last year's bowl game, but to be fair, the entire Wolverines team seemed disinterested against Kansas State.  

According to MLive.com, Hoke responded that Gardner would start, given the hypothetical throughout the spring along the lines of "what would happen if you had to play tomorrow?" He backed off that response when polled Friday, telling reporters when asked if Gardner would start tomorrow, "he might."

"I think the competition is close," Hoke said. "I think it's going to be pretty exciting to hear what they've done all summer."  

If the entire public drama is a ruse to motivate Gardner, he's sold it well and appears to have gotten the senior's attention.

"Oh my goodness, it was amazing how much better (the competition) made me," Gardner told MLive.com two weeks ago. "I found myself just trying to be super perfect in everything.  

"Obviously you can't be perfect, but you have to play as best as you can when there's guys behind you competing and wanting to play. It puts a sense of urgency on you."  

Michigan may not name a starter until August, if the rhetoric is any indication.