Who knew that I might have a chance to write about Tate Forcier? I mean, really? Wasn't he the kid who wasn't content with being Denard's backup?
In 2009, Tate became the third true freshman to start at quarterback for Michigan. Given the state of the roster back then, in Rich Rod's second season as head coach, and having to live with Steven Threet and Nick Sheridan the previous season; there wasn't much of a choice for the coaching staff and team. Tate started out his career going 4-0, but finished the season with a 5-7 record largely involving shoulder injuries and concussions. Also, remember Tate is the guy who played second string in the 2010 spring game, and sulked after the home opener to Connecticut in the fall.
So why am I writing about him now? Yesterday, it was announced that he was drafted the the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Now, as much as I know about football, college or pro, that's how little I know of the CFL. Henry Burris is currently the starter in Hamilton (Burris used to play in the NFL, for the Packers and Bears before being transferred to NFL Europe before that league dissipated).
After Tate left Michigan, there were widespread rumors as to where he might go. Miami was a primary choice, but others pointed to Hawaii, San Diego State, and Washington as viable options. However, due to academic concerns, he never got the chance to transfer to any of these schools. He ended up at San Jose State, but after more troubles, he was forced to leave college football.
So again, Tate is now in the CFL. Not exactly the ideal career path for a a high-profile college athlete. History is littered with the names of great college stars, men and women alike, whose careers took a fast downhill slide. Remember Jeff Smoker? Every State fan thought he was the greatest thing they've ever seen since sliced bread, yet he never won them a title. Along comes Cousins and boom, that's their new greatest of all time (short list, I know). Plenty of athletes have been forced to go down this road, not because of their choices (well, sort of, I guess), but primarily because they don't have any other choice. That's what happened with once bright star Forcier.
Don't get me wrong, I liked Tate when he played for us. I didn't think he'd be in our history books as a legend, but I was happy at the beginning. Yet when it came time that he was benched, he was a bad sportsman, and that will be forever etched into my memory. Hopefully, Tate has conquered his demons and will be able to be productive in the CFL, but this is certainly a tale that should be used to warn kids entering college. Make the right choices and this won't happen. Forcier is a classic cause of wasted potential, but hopefully he'll be able to turn his path around in the CFL.