BACK-UP TO HENNE WILL GO TO DIVISION I-AA IDAHO STATE
SALINE, MICHIGAN JANUARY 8, 2006 Somewhat surprising news this morning as back-up Michigan quarterback and high school phenom Matt Gutierrez has announced he will leave the Wolverines to play for I-AA Idaho State.
Basically his comments were classy but left a sense of frustration with his inability to get some playing time. Gutierrez was reported to say, “I feel like in my four years I’ve done everything I could have done and was asked to do to earn an opportunity. Unfortunately the opportunity didn’t come when I was finally healthy and ready to play.” One has to assume that Gutierrez expected some playing time after Henne struggled early in the season, probably after starter Chad Henne’s performance against Notre Dame. Or at least given a chance. Certainly that was the sentiment of the sports radio callers and many M fans around the country.
One has to assume that Gutierrez has a desire to go to the NFL, and without significant playing time (even on Michigan) feels that he’ll need some guaranteed snaps. Memo to the guy that thought he was in line for the Idaho State QB job: sorry Charlie.
So this leaves many questions for Michigan regarding the back-up role. Should Chad Henne falter or be injured next season, who will fill his shoes? The most likely candidate is red-shirted frosh Jason Forcier [scouting report].
As for Matt Gutierrez, he heads on to the Bengals of Idaho State, who ripped off the Cincinnati Bengals color scheme. Strike one: the ISU website is sponsored by Ramada (I’m serious). gregdooley.com pulls better advertisers. Strike two: Their website has one of those countdown tickers, tracking the time until kick-off. That’s great, but the opponent is listed as “TBA”. Maybe the Vince Young and the National Champion Texas Longhorns will step up to this challenge. I couldn’t find a schedule for next season, I’m not sure what kind a scheduling voodoo happens in I-AA, but I’m at least confused if not concerned about their advanced ticket sales.
Looking over previous seasons, it looks like the Bengals will face at least one Division I opponent next year. That should be interesting. And as far as transfers, I saw a press release from December announcing 5 transfers to the team, including a running back from Oregon. Hmm. Should be interesting to watch next year.