clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jim Harbaugh talks Michigan backup QB competition

A four-man race?

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Michigan v TCU Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

J.J. McCarthy is Michigan’s starting quarterback, but we’re a ways away from finding out who will be the backup QB for the Wolverines.

Michigan started their spring practices this week and head coach Jim Harbaugh talked about the potential options behind McCarthy.

“Backup quarterback-wise, Davis Warren, Jack Tuttle, Alex Orji — Jayden Denegal is already off to a really hot start in the spring. So is Jack Tuttle. He’s been really good the first two days.”

  • Warren, a former walk-on, quickly became Michigan’s backup after McNamara suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3. Warren was 5-of-9 last season for 89 yards.
  • Tuttle, a grad transfer from Indiana, was a team captain for the Hoosiers in 2022 and has thrown for 901 yards, five touchdowns, and six interceptions during his career.
  • Denegal, a dual-threat 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman, racked up over 4,600 passing yards and 69 passing touchdowns in high school.
  • Michigan utilized Orji’s legs last season. Orji scored two touchdowns during non-conference play and is a redshirt freshman.

It sounds like the competition is wide open right now, but Harbaugh’s pleased with the progress all four have made to this point in the offseason.

“All four of those quarterbacks are really engaged and have had really good offseasons with (strength and conditioning) coach (Ben) Herb(ert) and the staff in the six, seven weeks that they’ve been in the winter cycle. Really good. Can’t really call it right now after two days of practice who would be the backup quarterback, but feel really good about the quarterback room.”

As spring practices progress and coaches such as offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore and quarterbacks coach Kirk Campbell are made available to the media we’ll learn more about how the quarterback competition is going. For now, it may be a four-man race to claim that backup spot.

Michigan’s spring game takes place on April 1 and the backup quarterback competition will be one of the major storylines heading into the game.