Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh announced at Big Ten Media Days that Cade McNamara is Michigan’s starting quarterback heading into fall camp. This is after a spring where McNamara displayed leadership, consistency, and tenacity.
“You talk about taking the reins and leadership, that’s something that he has done, he has been that guy throughout the entire spring and training cycle, the summer. By example, and also pulling other guys along with him,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a fiery competitor, he’s got that gene — that he must win, must give it his best at all times.”
All three Michigan players at Big Ten Media Days (DE Aidan Hutchinson, LB Josh Ross, RB Hassan Haskins) echoed Harbaugh’s sentiment.
“He’s really stepped up. I’ve seen a big difference in him from last year this time of year and now. Even in our walkthroughs. We have player-led walkthroughs — he’s stepping up and having that voice in there,” Hutchinson said. “I think it’s good to have a solidifying voice on the offensive side. We haven’t had that in a while and I think it’s good that Cade is in there. He’s kind of the rock of the offense right now.”
McNamara appeared in 4 games last season, going 43-of-71 for 425 yards with 5 passing touchdowns — but a year ago he was entering camp third on the depth chart, now he’s the clear and apparent starting QB coming into fall camp.
“Most definitely Cade is No. 1,” Haskins said. “He’s been doing a great job. I trust him, like that big word — trust. I definitely trust Cade. He’s been working, grinding like everybody else on our team. We’re still coming together, and just grinding still to that first game. It’s going to be fun. I definitely like Cade, as well. He’s a great leader. He knows what he’s talking about. He knows the game. He’s well-rounded, balanced.”
From the perspective of a linebacker in Josh Ross, McNamara has found consistency to his craft. “He doesn’t really make a lot of mistakes, and he does his job. You need a quarterback that you can count on and depend on, not only as a leader, but his play, too,” Ross said. “That’s what you need, and that’s what Cade brings.”
Harbaugh noted that five-star freshman J.J. McCarthy is fighting and has the athletic ability athletic ability and arm talent to get it done “but Cade McNamara’s not letting him take it away”, saying “that’s probably the best thing for our team, for J.J., and for all of us.”
McNamara and Michigan will take the field on September 4 in a Week 1 showdown against Western Michigan.