Morris to start at quarterback

Morris was considered one of the nation's top quarterback prospects coming out of Warren De La Salle High School, but his progress was slowed by a case of mononucleosis that cost him most of his senior season.

Rick Osentoski/Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman Shane Morris will start at quarterback for Michigan in Saturday’s Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, replacing Devin Gardner.

Gardner has not practiced since the Ohio State game with what the team originally thought was turf toe, but is now believed to be a fractured foot. Brady Hoke said that at Thursday’s press conference that he expects Gardner to be ready for spring practice.

Morris was considered one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects coming out of Warren (Mich.) De La Salle High School, but his progress was slowed by a case of mononucleosis that cost him most of his senior season. After Russell Bellomy tore an ACL in spring practice, Morris beat out Brian Cleary for the No. 2 spot behind Gardner.

Now he’ll get a chance to start against Kansas State, despite only throwing nine passes this season in three brief appearances. Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges acknowledged on Christmas Eve that the Wolverines will use a stripped-down game plan because of Morris’ lack of experience.

"As it becomes more apparent that he could be starting, we have to be very judicious about how we go about grepping him in terms of what plays to run, the ones he knows the best and understands the best," Borges told reporters in Arizona.