Michigan wideout/defensive back Mike Sainristil was asked about Michigan’s quarterback competition between Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy. Sainristil’s answer reflects what head coach Jim Harbaugh and other Michigan players have been saying recently — the competition is close.
“I would say it’s still neck and neck,” Sainristil told the media on Tuesday.
Last week Harbaugh said the competition may very well continue into the season, something Sainristil acknowledged.
“You probably won’t see a starter the first game, you probably won’t see one the second game,” Sainristil said. “You might not see one until game six, that’s how much they’re competing right now. We’ll see, even I’m not sure.”
Michigan starts the season off against a few non-conference opponents who have struggled of late in Colorado State, Hawaii, and Connecticut. It’s conceivable McNamara and McCarthy both receive a similar amount of reps during the first portion of the season. Allowing both players to state their case in live game action may be the best route to go if things are still neck and neck going into the final week of fall camp. Let the game film speak for itself with the starter emerging naturally. By all accounts, Harbaugh won’t be forcing a decision by a certain date on the calendar.
“This is a very good unique situation. We have two quarterbacks that are playing at a high starter level and we’re gonna keep competing and it’s possible there’s a starter by the first game, and then possible that it plays into the season.” Harbaugh said last week. “Then we pick the one that’s gonna help the team win, who’s gonna be the best person to play quarterback to win the game.”
Harbaugh and Michigan will likely use a patient approach this year before naming a legitimate No. 1. Will it pay off? We’re going to find out.