The Michigan Wolverines went into this offseason with questions in the quarterback room once again. However, it appears that they will not be going through the dog and pony show of building hype around a starting competition.
Third-year signal-caller Cade McNamara has been repping with the first team throughout the spring and exited as the passer that quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss and the Michigan staff appear to be building around this year.
McNamara, a former four-star recruit out of Nevada, completed 43-of-71 pass attempts for 425 yards and five touchdowns last season. The Wolverines did a better job of moving the ball through the air with him under center, which has led to optimism that has only grown this offseason.
“Cade is a guy who — I think for everything that people are going to say to criticize him — is going to end up playing 10 years in the NFL,” Weiss said on Jon Jansen’s “In The Trenches” podcast. “You can say he’s not enough of this or enough of that, but at the end of the day, he’s very smart, he makes great decisions, he processes things very fast and his accuracy and arm strength are more than enough to win with. He’s a guy that’s been awesome to work with. He’s extremely valuable to our team. He’s our starter. Love the fact that we have him.”
There has been a considerable amount of hype surrounding the arrival of five-star freshman J.J. McCarthy and much of it has been backed up in spring practices, too. Weiss believes he will be ready when his opportunity comes.
“J.J. is a highly talented guy. Arm strength, mobility, great athlete. All of that stuff is obvious as soon as you step on the field with him,” Weiss said. “But I’ve been even more impressed with his approach to things. His maturity is far beyond his years.
“Early in the spring, I was asking him about his routine, how he gets ready for practice, how he gets ready for games. With an 18-year-old, you’re kind of expecting not much to be there, and he went through his whole routine of how he clears his mind, he does his shoulder exercises. I’m sitting there thinking like, ‘Man, can I get a copy of that?’
“He’s impressive in a lot of ways. I think for him, it’s really just a question of when, not if.”
McNamara and McCarthy currently make up the top two spots on the depth chart ahead of fall camp. Texas Tech transfer Alan Bowman is set to arrive on campus this summer and it remains to be seen where he factors in, but a player with Big-12 starting experience at the very least raises the floor of the room.