Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan need a quarterback, and he’s not going to find a better one than Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson.

According to Kyle Rowland of the Toledo Blade, that connection may be happening. Rowland reports the Wolverines are the favorite to land Patterson, who is expected to be eligible immediately in the aftermath of the NCAA investigation at Ole Miss.

A 5-star recruit in the 2016 class, he started three games as a true freshman when Chad Kelly suffered a season-ending injury. Patterson managed 880 yards with six scores in those three appearances before opening the 2017 campaign under center.

Although his sophomore year ultimately ended due to a PCL tear in his right knee, Patterson averaged 322.7 yards per game. He tossed 17 touchdowns and led the Rebels to three wins.

Harbaugh has attracted a couple of touted quarterback recruits to Ann Arbor, but the position went through severe problems in 2017.

Wilton Speight returned as the starter this season, but an injury in September sidelined him for the year. John O’Korn was ineffective, eventually getting benched for Brandon Peters. However, another injury took Peters off the field. Michigan ended the regular season 8-4.

Patterson would give the Wolverines an obvious NFL-caliber talent under center. Harbaugh has been criticized for never finishing better than third in the Big Ten’s East Division, but that will likely change as soon as the offense truly complements a consistently excellent defense.

Peters is still the quarterback of the future, but Patterson could take a one-year detour to Ann Arbor before pursuing the NFL.