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Where Michigan’s backup QB competition currently stands

Four names still in the mix to be Michigan’s backup QB.

East Carolina v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Michigan has a quarterback room in which has a bonafide starter along with multiple players vying for the backup QB spot.

When McCarthy exited the game against East Carolina in the second half with Michigan up 30-0, Davis Warren was the next man up in relief of McCarthy. However, that’ll be different in Week 2 against UNLV, head coach Jim Harbaugh said that Indiana transfer Jack Tuttle will be the first man in after McCarthy this week. Further, Harbaugh said Michigan considers Jayden Denegal and Alex Orji “right there in the mix”.

With the remaining non-conference schedule consisting of UNLV and Bowling Green, there’s a strong possibility Michigan can work more than just McCarthy, Warren and Tuttle into the games. With that in mind, the competition will be continuing before a QB2 is set in stone.

“Take it to the games, just like we do,” Harbaugh said. “Hopefully we have the opportunity to be able to play Jack, Jayden. and Alex in this next game.”

When speaking with the media on Wednesday, quarterbacks coach Kirk Campbell noted the backup quarterback position will be determined by meritocracy. They’ll battle it out and the best player will play.

“We’re going to use the Michigan Method at the number two spot at quarterback,” Campbell said. “All four of those guys, Davis, Jake Tuttle, Alex Orji and Jayden Denegal will hopefully get an opportunity to show what they can do on the game field. Davis got the first nod because he played a little bit better during fall. He got the opportunity and we’ll see how the rest plays out there.”

Campbell said Warren did a really good job in fall camp “playing on time, getting rid of the football, and not taking a big hit” while also progressing on plays and knowing when to run.

“If he keeps developing there, he’s going to have a bright future,” Campbell said.

This will be a big week for Tuttle to show he’s the most capable backup QB. Tuttle was a team captain at Indiana and threw for 901 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions throughout his four years with the Hoosiers. Tuttle’s now had a whole offseason and fall camp with the Wolverines to get acclimated to their scheme. Tuttle played in Michigan’s spring game in April and went 6-of-12 for 57 with an interception, a lost fumble, and yards rushing.

The best-case scenario for Michigan is a blowout versus UNLV which allows them to get more than two quarterbacks in the game. If that’s what happens, look for Denegal and Orji to get the nod after McCarthy and Tuttle exit.