More than anything, Jim Harbaugh was thankful for the conversation.

When now former Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight walked into Harbaugh's office to tell him his plans to take a graduate transfer recently, the head coach's first reaction was to support.

His second was to say thanks.

"I support him, like all the guys on the team. Support what they think is best for them," Harbaugh said Sunday night. "That's the approach. The angle of approach I come with. I've always had a good relationship with Wilton.

"I think I was most pleased or proud or happy, I guess, that he came in to talk with me. We had an honest discussion. Always strive for that with all our players."

Speight, who insisted he harbors no ill-will toward Michigan or Harbaugh, announced his decision to play his fifth year elsewhere the day after Michigan's regular-season finale vs. Ohio State.

After winning Michigan's job out of fall camp for the second straight year, Speight was lost for the season after he suffered three cracked vertebrae during a win at Purdue in late September — the fourth game of the year.

Speight's teammates reacted the same as Harbaugh once they found out.

They supported him.

"He told us, so we knew first," Michigan running back Chris Evans said. "So when he told me it was the best situation for him, I just said we'd be by his side with whatever decision he made."

Speight won't be with the team during its Outback Bowl prep or for the game itself as he plans on enrolling at his new school in January. Michigan entered this week's bowl practice session with redshirt freshman Brandon Peters as its first-string quarterback.