Ex-Michigan QB Speight says he's transferring to UCLA

Associated Press • Apr 13, 2018 at 12:42 AM

The return of Wilton Speight can finally be put to rest.

Michigan's former starting quarterback announced Thursday night on social media that he plans to transfer to UCLA for his final season.

In a video posted on Instagram, Speight is shown stepping back to throw a pass inside Michigan Stadium, then the video cuts to a photo of the Rose Bowl with UCLA's logo.

"New chapter," Speight wrote, accompanied with a rose.

Speight's decision ends a near five-month process that began in late November when he announced plans to pursue a graduate transfer. At the time, he wrote, he wanted to have a decision made before the calendar flipped to 2018.

But time went on and reports surfaced that Speight was weighing a potential return to Michigan, especially with transfer quarterback Shea Patterson's eligibility in limbo.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh revealed last month on this weekly podcast that Speight -- who threw for 3,192 yards and 10 touchdowns in three seasons at Michigan -- had not ruled out a return.

"He's weighing some of his options," Harbaugh said on his March 27 podcast. "He's looking at seeing what else is out there; who is need of a starting quarterback. But he hasn't closed the door on coming back."

Speight was quiet throughout the process. He didn't conduct an interview, and reports of school visits were few and far between. Last week, a photograph of him at a UCLA practice popped up.

At UCLA, Speight will be eligible to play in 2018 and jumps into a quarterback competition left behind by Josh Rosen. Washington backup K.J. Carta-Samuels announced in January plans to pursue a graduate transfer at UCLA, while the Bruins return fifth-year senior Craig Meyers, a pair of redshirt sophomores and three sophomores.

Of course, Speight's health remains the biggest concern. He hasn't played in a football game since Sept. 23, when he suffered a fractured vertebra in Michigan's win at Purdue.

Speight has since rehabbed from the injury and says he's 100 percent.

"It's not that I'm not coming back because of the quarterback competition," Speight told WXYZ-TV's Brad Galli in November, days after his he announced his decision to transfer.

"I know that's probably what people think. But I've proven time and time again that I love competition. I came out on top two years in a row. I've been here four years now.

"It's just one of those things that it's just time to move on."

UCLA enters its first season under head coach Chip Kelly, who took over a program in November after two straight losing seasons.

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