Jim Harbaugh updates Michigan's QB battle between Cade McNamara, J.J. McCarthy
An important quarterback battle took place in Ann Arbor during spring practice, and it will likely continue into the fall. Michigan is looking to find its permanent No. 1 guy for the 2021 season after watching Joe Milton transfer to Tennessee after last fall.
Returner Cade McNamara and 5-star newcomer J.J. McCarthy are the two quarterbacks expected to be the two competing for the starting spot when the Wolverines kick off the season on Sept. 4 against Western Michigan. When Texas Tech transfer Alan Bowman arrives, he’ll be thrown into that conversation, too.
For now, though, it’s McNamara and McCarthy. In a recent episode of the In the Trenches with Jon Jansen podcast, Harbaugh was asked about Michigan’s current quarterback situation. It sounds like there is currently a favorite at the position.
“Not a lot of experience, but Cade just continues to play well,” Harbaugh said. “Continual progress from Cade. He had a great spring. He took what he did last fall in games and continued to build on it on a daily basis. Very confident. Knows the system inside and out.”
McNamara had his best performance of the season in a comeback victory over Rutgers. He stepped in for Milton, who struggled early in the contest. McNamara threw 4 touchdown passes and rushed for 1 more, leading the Wolverines to thrilling victory over the Scarlet Knights.
When the season came to an end, McNamara had thrown for 425 yards and 5 touchdowns while completing 43-of-71 passes. He did not throw an interception.
Harbaugh says that McCarthy also had an outstanding spring and has quickly climbed up the depth chart.
“J.J. was terrific as a mid-year freshman,” Harbaugh said. “Got himself all the way up to No. 2.”
McNamara has the lead for the No. 1 spot right now, but with this battle continuing into the summer and fall, it’ll still be one to keep an eye on when the season approaches.