Peters cleared, enters bowl practices as top quarterback
Written by Matt Pargoff   

Set to play South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, the Wolverines have a clear front runner at the quarterback position in redshirt freshman Brandon Peters after seeing three different starters over the course of the season.

Peters inherited the job after Wilton Speight suffered multiple fractured vertebrae against Purdue in the Big Ten opener and backup John O’Korn proved ineffective over the course of the next four games.

Peters took over for O’Korn during the Rutgers contest, starting the next three games before bring knocked out of action with a concussion against Wisconsin. That held Peters from playing the next week against Ohio State, but the young signal caller is set to return as the Wolverines’ top option.

“We’ll start practice with Brandon as the No. 1 quarterback,” Jim Harbaugh said via teleconference Sunday evening.

Following Michigan’s loss to Ohio State, Harbaugh noted Peters continued to suffer concussion symptoms the entire week, which removed him from contention to play in the game.

Heading into bowl prep, the head coach confirmed that Peters has now cleared the concussion protocol, explaining that he practiced with the younger members of the team last week.

Kinnel Also Cleared

The concussion protocol can be a bit tricky, as it requires a series of steps in which a player must be symptom free, the course of which lasting anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The Wolverines received more good news on that front last week, with starting safety Tyree Kinnel also clearing the process after being knocked unconscious in the Ohio State game.

“I’m 100%,” Kinnel said Sunday evening. “I wasn’t this last week, or definitely after the game, because I took a pretty good shot. But I definitely feel ready to go and I’m excited to get back with my teammates,”

“I went through the concussion protocol this whole last week. That’s what it ended up being. But like I said, I’m back from it now.”

Black Unlikely to Play

In other news on the injury front, Harbaugh noted that true freshman Tarik Black did not participate in activities last week, but that he could be cleared to see action during bowl practices. Black was Michigan’s leading receiver through non-conference play, but broke his foot during the meeting with Air Force on Sept. 27.

While Harbaugh said there was a chance the young receiver would be physically ready in time for the bowl game, he is leaning toward not playing him in order to pursue a medical hardship exemption from the NCAA that would give Black four remaining years of eligibility.


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