Kirk Ferentz is trying to turn Iowa around after a disastrous offensive season held the Hawkeyes back from the goal of competing for a B1G Championship. One way the program is trying to recover is at quarterback where the team has struggled in recent seasons.

One thing Iowa did to address the QB position was head to the portal where Ferentz and his staff were able to land former Michigan starter Cade McNamara. Despite winning the B1G and leading the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff, McNamara was eventually bypassed in Ann Arbor by JJ McCarthy.

Now in Iowa City, Ferentz praised the early impact of McNamara and explained Iowa’s perception of the QB after going head-to-head with the Wolverines during his tenure as a starter. Ferentz also buried any debate, declaring McNamara is clearly the starter for the Hawkeyes coming out of the spring.

“Personally, we were all excited just because we had first-hand experience playing against him,” said Ferentz about adding McNamara per Pat Harty with “When you’re on the field with players, it’s kind like NFL prospects, sometimes you just have a really strong feeling about a guy. We had great respect for Cade and the way he played going into the game in December and certainly had even more after that.

“Now you get to work with him, get to have him in your building, get to know him on a personal level. To me, he has a lot of the characteristics we look for in a QB… He’s got a little edge to him which is good. So far so good, he’s been a great addition to our team… He’s clearly our starter right now, it’s not a debate.”

Can Hawkeyes rebound under Cade McNamara’s guidance?

It’s hard to believe after the struggles in the 2022 season, but Iowa went to the B1G Championship Game during the 2021 season and won 10 games. Even with the offensive issues, the Hawkeyes still went 8-5 and registered a bowl win a year ago.

If McNamara is able to produce even just as a game-managing QB without turnovers and any semblance of efficiency, Iowa has a great shot to be back near the top of the B1G West and competing for a conference championship in 2023.