On Saturday night, Cade McNamara exited the field of Michigan Stadium to a surprising reaction — a loud chorus of boos.
It was an unthinkable twist of fate for McNamara. After leading the Wolverines to the program’s first victory over Ohio State in 10 years, the program’s first Big Ten championship in 17 years and the first appearance in the College Football Playoff, the redshirt junior — a team captain — found himself the subject of an ire few could have predicted.
Since that night, the reaction from inside Shembechler Hall has been a definitive and vocal disapproval. On Tuesday evening, senior left tackle Ryan Hayes echoed that sentiment.
“We hate that,” Hayes said. “We would hate for any of our brothers to get booed. I think that’s pretty ridiculous for our stadium to do that to one of our players that is the captain of this team, led us to all those victories last year. I mean, Cade was a big part of the offense last year — led us to Ohio State, Iowa and then to the playoffs.
“We hate that stuff, to be honest.”
Hayes may have had the strongest words yet, but other teammates of McNamara, as well as head coach Jim Harbaugh, have already expressed their support of the quarterback across several platforms.
The reason for the groundswell of support, Hayes explained, is McNamara’s presence in the locker room, QB1 or not.
“Cade last year, and this year, is just a great leader,” Hayes said. “He leads our offense, he leads us, great leader, great captain, so we love Cade. He’s came into the building with a smile on his face every day. He’s gonna do what he can and we still are looking at him like a captain. He’s treating us just the same, he hasn’t changed his outlook at all. It’s been pretty good to see.”