2 Quarterbacks emerging as leaders for starting job at Michigan

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NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan
Sep 24, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines cheerleader runs down the sideline with a flag after a touchdown in the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We’re exactly three weeks away from the first real big Saturday of college football. The Michigan Wolverines will be tested right away in their first contest when they play SEC power Florida down in Arlington, Texas.

Between now and then, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh will have to determine his depth chart at the quarterback position. The consensus seems to be that senior Wilton Speight will get the nod for the opener against the Gators.

But beyond that, who knows what it will look like. Harbaugh updated the quarterback competition recently, saying that Speight has definitely emerged as a front-runner, along with another veteran on the roster.

“John (O’Korn) and Wilton have really stepped up,” Harbaugh told the media Friday night after practice. “I think they created a little bit of separation, and they’re battling (for) it now. One is with the 1s, and the next day the other one is with the 1s.

“We’re keeping a very close eye on it and we’ll keep progressing.”

Fifth-year senior and former Houston transfer John O’Korn is also making a run to start on September 2 over Speight, who was named to both the Davey O’Brien Award and Maxwell Award watch lists earlier this summer.

It would appear that the two veterans have a decisive albeit early edge over redshirt freshman Brandon Peters, who many fans would like to see become the regular guy under center in Ann Arbor, preferably sooner than later.

And while Harbaugh is very enamored with Peters’ play-making ability and strong arm, he believes that the former 4-star prospect out of Avon, Indiana still needs to develop his “huddle presence.”

“It’s just a process for him,” Harbaugh said. “He’s competing hard and doing good. That’s not to say things are settled right now, (but) those two guys have created a little bit of separation.”

Harbaugh has continued to rave about Speight and his “steady” demeanor for the better part of now three seasons with the program. He reiterated that the guy who “has good command of the offense” will be the best suited to be the first-string quarterback.