How Shea Patterson Played a Role in Chase Winovich's Return to Michigan

How Shea Patterson Played a Role in Chase Winovich's Return to Michigan

Football

How Shea Patterson Played a Role in Chase Winovich's Return to Michigan

CHICAGO — It’s been a long while now that we’ve known of Michigan weak-side defensive end Chase Winovich’s decision to come back to Ann Arbor for his fifth and final year, but at Big Ten Media Days last week, we learned a little bit more about how he came to the decision.

The lure of going pro was certainly there for Winovich, and while many thought he was a sure thing to return to the Wolverines, that was not the case, as Winovich explained on Monday.

“After the bowl game, I was in the locker room, and one part of me was almost like angry, the fact that we lost,” Winovich said. “It was kind of just like, ‘This is my winter to get out, it’s been real.’ I left it out there, there’s nothing more I could do to finish this thing I started. But, as time went on, my brother-in-law Dean gave me great advice. He said, ‘Chase, I know you’re struggling with trying to decide what to do. But, whatever decision-making skills you used to decide to come to Michigan, apply that to what you’re dealing with now.’ For me, that was probably the best piece of advice I got going through it, because it became really easy after that. I said, ‘I followed my heart to get to Michigan, and I’m going to follow my heart whether to leave.’ It was apparent to me I wasn’t ready to go, and my time at Michigan had just not come to a conclusion yet.

“A lot of people – I get messages me thanking me for coming back to Michigan, which is weird to me. I feel like it’s my honor. I’m the one who should be thanking for the chance. It’s sincere.”

But, perhaps a surprising detail was how eventual an Michigan Wolverine would influence his decision.

Former five-star Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson wasn’t even official to Michigan yet. And he assuredly wasn’t declared eligible by the NCAA, either. But, knowing that he was probably coming to Ann Arbor played a part on Winovich’s decision making process, outside of the pull of the university and his college career as a whole.

He explains:

“I was with Shea, we were hanging out. At that point, I was kind of teetering towards coming back to Michigan. I was with Shea – but I wasn’t sure at that point, because it was before the bowl game. So, I just went to Shea, and I just said, ‘Hey man, (if) you come to Michigan – hey, I’ll come back.’

“We had a dialogue back and forth. And meanwhile, I didn’t even know if he’d be eligible or not, even if he did come. It was definitely important for me – one of the aspects was making sure the offense got taken care of and made improvements. And I was convinced of that.”

Whether it be Patterson, Brandon Peters or McCaffrey under center, Michigan should be in fine hands at quarterback in 2018 — and it will definitely be solid on the defensive line, with both Winovich and Rashan Gary back for another year.

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