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Daily Brews: Cade McNamara embracing competition at QB, taking leadership role seriously

McNamara is ready to go at it in camp versus Michigan’s other QBs.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 Michigan at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh made it clear that Cade McNamara is Michigan’s starting quarterback heading into fall camp. Harbaugh also mentioned that five-star freshman J.J. McCarthy is fighting and has the ability and arm talent to compete.

At an event in Detroit on Saturday being held by The Uniform Funding Foundation and FOX Sports’ announcer Gus Johnson, McNamara said he’s embracing his competition which consists of McCarthy, Texas Tech transfer Alan Bowman, and Dan Villari.

McNamara complimented the spring of McCarthy, Bowman, and Villari, and is looking forward to competing against them in fall camp.

“I do well with competition,” McNamara said. “My whole quarterback career I’ve faced competition; starting in high school. I don’t shy away from it. I like competition. Whether that’s against another guy or another team, that’s something that I embrace.”

Competition isn’t the only thing McNamara is embracing — he’s also becoming a more vocal and clear-cut leader. “To be honest, I enjoy that part of being a quarterback,” McNamara said. “Being a quarterback, you’re given a leadership role, no matter what your leadership type is prior. That’s something that I’ve embraced and that’s something that I’ve continued to work on — to influence my teammates and help our team win. That’s something I’ve taken seriously.”

Part of what led to a spring of practices McNamara was pleased with can be attributed to his playing time a season ago — getting live reps, feeling the speed of an opposing defense and how to adjust. “Just being in those situations helps me really apply what I’m working on in practice to visualizing it in a game,” McNamara said. “Now I’ve been on the field, I’ve been in a game, I’ve seen the speed and noticing what we can work on in practice and what will work on game day is kind of the perspective that I’ve been able to gain.”

Linebacker Josh Ross said that McNamara has been consistent, defensive end Adian Hutchinson said it’s been great to see McNamara’s confidence heighten and be a leader on the team, running back Hassan Haskins says he trusts his quarterback. Jim Harbaugh says that McNamara has a gene where he “must win, must give it his all at all times”.

Although McNamara has taken the reins and leadership, Harbaugh said on Thursday that McCarthy exhibits some of the same traits as McNamara and also had a good spring. McCarthy’s going to push McNamara in the direction he needs to help Michigan win. “Hes (McCarthy) fighting,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got the athletic ability and arm talent to get it done, but Cade McNamara’s not letting him take it away. And that’s probably the best thing for our team, for J.J., and for all of us.”

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