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Michigan OC Kirk Campbell evaluates QB competition

Campbell’s thoughts on Orji, Denegal, Warren, and Davis.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan will have a new starting quarterback in 2024 with J.J. McCarthy headed to the NFL. Who Michigan’s QB1 will be remains to be seen.

“Everybody’s No. 1, and we’ll see who comes out on top,” Michigan offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kirk Campbell said on In The Trenches with Jon Jansen.

Campbell said he’s not in a place to dictate who’s going to receive the first snap this spring. However, Campbell spoke at length about Michigan’s quarterback room, giving insights about Jayden Denegal, Alex Orji, Jadyn Davis, and Davis Warren.

Here’s what Campbell said about the Michigan quarterbacks.

Campbell on Jayden Denegal

  • “In my eyes, he was the most improved player on offense. From my time being as an analyst and me being able to my fingerprints on him and kind of molding him and developing him. His development in over a year has been vast. He still needs to improve. He’s got to be a little bit quicker with his feet, he takes a little bit too much time in his drop. Speeding up his feet so he’s able to speed up getting rid of the football. His accuracy is great, his knowledge and understanding are great, he’s a good decision-maker. We just need to speed up his processor a little bit.”
  • “He’s so big he’s gonna thrive in live situations breaking tackles like a Ben Roethlisberger type. Something may not look pretty in practice, but in the game that might not be a sack. That might just be an arm coming across his chest and he shrugs it off. We understand that and we gotta put him in gamelike situations to see if he can display those abilities.”

Campbell on Alex Orji

  • “He’s extremely gifted athletically. In the KPI system, the key performance indicators he’s No. 1 on the team. So all that athletic ability, we knew once he got the ball in his hands he could shine.
  • “He knew the offense really well. He knew what he was doing. We were very comfortable with him being able to execute that. With his composure, his athletic ability, his understanding of the offense, putting him in those situations were advantageous for us as an offense.”
  • “He shined. He had some key explosive plays, one against Ohio State that really sparked the second half and the other one in the national championship game, he had a nice run for us. That’s why he was able to shine in those moments.”
  • “He prepared himself all season like he was the starter, as did the other guys, and he was able to be the right guy in the moment.”

Campbell on Jadyn Davis

  • “He’s another very accurate quarterback. A guy that’s going to be able to be a good passer of the football. Has really good footwork moving in and out of the pocket. He may not be as much of a run threat, as far as taking off and running a lot with the football, but he definitely can throw the ball with the best of them, as far as accuracy, knowledge.”
  • “We threw him in the fire in bowl prep. His first day on the job, I was like, ‘Alright, you got a skelly rep. This is how you go in there, this is how you read the play.’ You’re thinking a freshman quarterback is going to throw his first read. No, he progressed back to his second read. Boom, ball on time, complete. It was pretty impressive, so to see him be able to process information and be a great learner. I think he has a bright future.”

Campbell on Davis Warren

  • “Just continual growth of understanding the offense. He probably does have the best understanding coming back in the room as far as what we’re trying to do, how we’re trying to accomplish it, especially in the throw game. He’s very committed to his craft. He spends a lot of time working on being better as a thrower with his footwork, his timing. And I just want to continue to see that development.”