Possibly the greatest all-around quarterback to ever play high school football in New Mexico — and maybe the most heavily recruited quarterback to ever come from the state — may never take a snap at the collegiate level.
At least, not at Michigan.
According to a story in the Detroit Free Press, ex-Eldorado sensation Zach Gentry “is no longer a quarterback” at Michigan, and is “working exclusively at tight end.”
The Journal’s attempts to reach Gentry on his phone, through his father and through Michigan’s sports information department, have been unsuccessful.
Former longtime Highland High and Eldorado coach Bill Gentry, Zach’s grandfather, told the Journal on Saturday: “That’s the first I’ve heard of the news. I haven’t talked to him in a while, but I’m perplexed.”
Zach Gentry graduated from Eldorado last year.
He originally verbally committed to Texas after a nationwide recruiting war, but signed with Michigan in February 2015 after coach Jim Harbaugh left the San Francisco 49ers and took the head job with the Wolverines.
Harbaugh came to Albuquerque to recruit Gentry, who is 6-foot-7, 235 pounds, and has a rocket arm and 4.6 speed in the 40. The two played catch in Gentry’s front yard.
Gentry didn’t play in his first season at Michigan. A player has five years to play four seasons. Thus, if he transfers to another Division I school, he’d have to sit out another season as a transfer and have just three years left to play.
Gentry threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns for the Eagles as a senior in 2014 and ran for over 1,000 yards and 22 TDs. Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 4 QB in the country.
After switching his commitment from Texas to Michigan last year, Gentry said: “It feels good ultimately laying my head on the pillow tonight thinking I’ll be Jim Harbaugh’s first quarterback recruit at Michigan.”
Harbaugh, however, signed Brandon Peters, the nation’s No. 3 ranked prep quarterback from 2016, earlier this month. And last week, Harbaugh got a verbal commitment from Dylan McCaffrey — the nation’s top-ranked prep QB in the Class of 2017. McCaffrey is the brother of Stanford superstar Christian McCaffrey and the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey.
According to maizeandbluenews.com, Michigan rising senior tight end Jake Butt — a first team All-American who considered entering this year’s NFL draft — said that Gentry “might be the tallest tight end we have, so I can’t really say he looks like a quarterback playing tight end. He’s fast, too. He’s a fast guy, a quarterback, so he’s a smart guy.
“He’s a quick learner. He’s picking up on it really fast and it’s just something that will come with time. It’s a transition that’s been done before. It’s not going to happen overnight, but Zach’s a great player, a great athlete, and I think he’ll be able to make that transition pretty smoothly.”
On Saturday, Eldorado football coach Charlie Dotson said he spoke with Gentry during the Christmas break and that his former QB was confident of being in the running for a starting role at that spot this season with Michigan.
“Zach said they had him playing a scout position to prepare for the (Wolverines’ Citrus) Bowl game against Florida, because Florida had a 6-6 wide receiver,” Dotson said. “They wanted someone who could simulate that receiver’s size and speed. But Zach still thought he would be competing to be quarterback this season.”