Milton's Arm is So Strong, Dead-On Throws Are 'Kind of Hard to Catch Sometimes'

joe milton michigan

Milton's Arm is So Strong, Dead-On Throws Are 'Kind of Hard to Catch Sometimes'

Football

Milton's Arm is So Strong, Dead-On Throws Are 'Kind of Hard to Catch Sometimes'

ANN ARBOR, Mich — The freshman hyperbole is real.

With first-year wide receiver Ronnie Bell, both Grant Perry and Tarik Black say he’s so athletic he can “jump out the gym.”

For the two freshmen tight ends, Sean McKeon says, “You can just see that they’ve got a lot of raw talent.”

With running back Christian Turner, Jon Runyan Jr. says he’s a “small guy, but he’s explosive – (he’s) what we need of a back in the Big Ten.”

You get the picture. The freshmen are usually either really good, really going to be good, or they’re working to be good.

But, it’s not often that you hear that a freshman, a first-year player, has to dial it down a bit. That maybe he’s a little too good for, you know, his own good.

Such is the case with Michigan quarterback Joe Milton, the Orlando (FL) Olympia four-star, who committed to the Wolverines in the spring of 2017. His recruitment wasn’t exactly a fight of major programs, despite having 25 offers. Michigan wanted him, and Michigan got him. There was little fanfare in his decision.

And now, it looks like the Wolverines may have a gem on their hands.

Second-year receiver Tarik Black is among Michigan’s best pass catchers, even though he only has three games under his belt. He worked with now-UCLA quarterback Wilton Speight — who went 12-3 in his career, and once had the best half a Michigan quarterback has had, ever — and now-Michigan starter Shea Patterson, a former five-star.

Yet, Black says, Milton has a little extra something. A little extra oomph. And that extra torque he can spin is so forceful, that Black says it might even be too much.

“Joe Milton’s arm is very strong,” Black said. “That’s what I’ll say – he’s got a rocket, man. It’s kind of hard to catch from him sometimes. He has to take a little bit off at times, he just doesn’t know how strong his arm is sometimes. He’s really good.”

Milton arrived in Ann Arbor in January, and the coaches spoke all spring about his intellectual curiosity.

Harbaugh said back in April that Milton was a frequent caller to pass game coordinator Pep Hamilton, delving as hard as he could into the playbook. A fierce competitor, a source even told WolverinesWire earlier in the summer that Milton didn’t want to room this fall with any of his competition in the QB room.

A quarterback needs that kind of confidence, that kind of moxie, especially one who can reportedly throw 70-80 yard bombs. But, with the steep learning curve that comes going from the high school game to college, there’s also the requirement of thoroughly understanding the playbook, the scheme and defenses.

Milton is behind the proverbial 8-ball in that regard, through no fault of his own. He came to Ann Arbor with Patterson transferring in and with Brandon Peters and Dylan McCaffrey already having time served.

Black can see how far along Milton has come, though, and that’s come in large part due to his willingness to learn and trust the coaching staff with his development.

“From the beginning, he used to make a lot of little mistakes, but now he’s gotten better,” Black said. “He continues to get better. He’s been working with Coach Pep and Coach Harbaugh, getting those things right. I definitely see the progress.”

While Shea Patterson has been tagged as the Wolverines starting quarterback this season, with the new redshirt rules that the NCAA enacted this offseason, where players can redshirt despite playing in any four games across the season, it’s all but a certainty that fans will get to see Milton and that rocket of an arm at some point in 2018.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@isaiahhole

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home