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Kirk Campbell talks Michigan QB depth, spring practice goals

Campbell previews spring ball and the Michigan QB room.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Purdue vs Michigan Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

New Michigan quarterbacks coach Kirk Campbell has a unit featuring a top tier starter, a former walk-on vying to be the backup, a grad transfer with experience, and other players trying to ascend up the depth chart.

Michigan begins their spring practices in the next few weeks, and there will be questions that need to be sorted out.

J.J. McCarthy is No. 1 but who his backup will be remains to be seen.

There’s grad transfer Jack Tuttle, who was a team captain at Indiana. Tuttle’s attempted 182 passes during his four-year IU career, throwing for 901 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. There’s Davis Warren who rose to No. 2 last year after Cade McNamara’s season ending injury, and other options such as Alex Orji and Jayden Denegal.

Campbell was asked how deep Michigan is at the quarterback position on the In the Trenches Podcast.

“I think that’s going to be a great question we need to get answered here in the spring. Davis Warren, he’s an extremely talented player, going to have continue to have him take strides,” Campbell said. “Jack Tuttle, excited to see how he’s going to do this spring. But we have young guys in that room. The freshman class, we had four guys in there, Jayden Denegal, Alex Orji to name a few. The depth is going to be — somewhere we need to figure out who’s going to take over the backup role, the two and the three role coming out of the spring.”

Campbell said he’s had a fair share of conversations with Michigan’s quarterbacks since he was promoted.

“Just trying to hit the ground running with an incomer like Jack Tuttle and get him to know the offense so that when we get to spring ball, there’s nothing held back there. Meeting with each quarterback individually trying to go over what their goals are for the spring, what we need to step forward with, and the areas that we need to improve.”

With elite running backs returning like Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards as well as what’s expected to be yet another formidable offensive line for the Wolverines, there’s no doubt the offense will be run-heavy. Campbell’s goal is to cater to the strengths of Michigan’s quarterbacks and figure out the best plan of attack to play complementary football.

“We know that our identity is that we’re a running football team. We’re going to be able to do that based on the returners we have on our o-line. We just gotta make sure we come out, what is our identity in the throw game? Is it going to be a ball-control passing game, is it going to be a play-action team? Make sure we get all those details cleaned up and make sure we put them in the best situation to succeed on Saturdays.”

Spring practices will be a time for the unit to improve, solidify their identity as a passing offense, and it will help Campbell figure out who should be Michigan’s No. 2 and No. 3 quarterbacks.