Michigan’s quarterback room should be engendering plenty of confidence these days.

The returning starter and senior, Cade McNamara, is coming off a Big Ten championship and a Playoff appearance; sophomore backup JJ McCarthy is a 5-star recruit (2021 class) who is bursting at the seams with potential; and Davis Warren, a redshirt sophomore, looked good during the spring game.

From No. 1 to No. 3, Michigan has some solid stuff at the quarterback position — more than it’s ever had under 7th-year coach Jim Harbaugh.

While there is plenty of debate among media and fans as to who should start, McNamara is the clear-cut leader in the position group and will all but certainly get the nod this fall. Michigan has never had a returning Big Ten title-winning QB during the Harbaugh era, so that’s something that should be recognized and respected.

McCarthy will get his turn. The former blue-chip prep star has all of the ingredients necessary to be a successful QB in Ann Arbor.

Warren just has to be ready. As we all know, strange things can happen in the world of college football. There may come a time or circumstance in which Warren, for whatever reason, gets called upon this fall — or even next fall. It’s doubtful but not impossible. McNamara and McCarthy should easily handle the top duties … but what if one or both gets injured or underperforms? There is no such thing as having too much talent at any position, let alone the most important position on the team.

The Wolverines have a nice stock of QBs entering the 2022 season.

Back in 2015, Harbaugh’s first in Ann Arbor, Michigan had Iowa transfer Jake Rudock run the show while Wilton Speight, a 3-star recruit from the Brady Hoke regime, waited for his shot in 2016. Rudock and Speight comprised Michigan’s top QB1-QB2 tandem of the Harbaugh era that season — both were capable of running the offense. Rudock had the job locked up in 2015. Speight followed in 2016 and, if not for an injury vs. Purdue, would have been No. 1 throughout the 2017 season.

Shea Patterson had a decent run … but there was nobody behind him. Joe Milton started in 2020 and then, late in the season, gave way to McNamara, who’s held the top spot ever since.

During 6 seasons, Michigan really only had 1 year with a solid starter/backup combo — and that was in 2015. Since then, the starter, as it should be, has had to carry the majority of the load. However, think of it in terms of drop-off — and there was a major one — from starter to backups during the Harbaugh era. Hasn’t been pretty.

This year, Michigan can rest assured knowing that there isn’t anything to worry about at quarterback.

QB1: Cade McNamara

Why on Earth would anyone want to see a guy who’s 14-4 as a starter ride the bench? During those 18 starts, McNamara has completed 63.6 percent of his pass attempts with 20 touchdowns and just 6 picks.

Quick math: 253 completions divided by 20 TDs comes out to 1 TD per every 12.65 completions.

Just shy of 400 career attempts (398), he’s only turned over the ball via INT 6 times. That’s roughly 1 interception every 66 attempts — and during some instances, depending on how much UM throws the ball, that could end up being a 3-5 week stretch of INT-less football. Or, at worst, just 1 mistake during that timespan.

Bench McNamara for McCarthy? Some Michigan fans and media are illogical.

McNamara wears the crown as the top returning starting QB of the Harbaugh era, and perhaps the best incumbent at Michigan since 4-year starter Chad Henne (2004-07). Back in Week 1 of 2021, McNamara was Pro Football Focus’s highest-graded quarterback. Since then, he’s made a few PFF lists, most recently as the least-prone to turn over the football in the Big Ten.

QB 2: JJ McCarthy

There aren’t many, if any, former 5-star QB recruits riding the bench among Big Ten programs. Maybe just Ohio State. You’d have to go to the SEC to see former 5-star guys on the sidelines. But that’s the case at Michigan, with McCarthy yet to take hold of the top job. He’s only a true sophomore, but he entered with the most hype of any player at UM in recent memory — even more than Jabrill Peppers or Rashan Gary.

McCarthy is incredibly athletic, really fast for a QB and looks to have decent field presence when he’s in the huddle and under center. He just needs more seasoning. Michigan needs stability and predictability at QB. Right now, McCarthy has proven to be a spark and change-of-pace guy, but he’s not ready to take full control — that will be the 2023 season, most likely.

McCarthy has thrown 10 or more passes only twice during 11 appearances: 17 vs. Georgia (CFP) and 10 vs. Indiana. He has 59 career attempts with 2 picks. Compare McNamara’s completion-to-INT rate of roughly 66 passes, and it’s plain to see the difference in experience between the top pair of QBs at Michigan.

Nonetheless, if things go awry for McNamara, Michigan has a backup with a high ceiling — a guy who has learned the system and matured since arriving on campus. According to reports, his throwing shoulder is just about 100 percent healed and ready for fall camp. There’s no doubting that McCarthy, who also has 2 rushing TDs, will provide a different dynamic for the offense during certain situations — and that’s a valuable asset to have, even if said player isn’t the starter.

QB 3: Davis Warren

Here’s a guy who hasn’t been a starter for several years now. Due to the pandemic, his senior year was cancelled — a sad case for hundreds of athletes during the 2020-21 academic year . He missed his junior year while battling leukemia, according to published reports.

But he is making up for lost time. A 3-time scout team POTW in 2021, Warren has created a name for himself within Glick Fieldhouse.

During the spring game, the preferred walk-on from California threw some nice balls and demonstrated good arm strength. Is he the third guy in the QB room? That looks to be the case, though UM does — rather incredibly — have 6 other QBs on its roster presumedly competing with Warren for the No. 3 spot.