Michigan Football: Cade McNamara unofficially named starting QB

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

It seems we refer to this before the start of every year, but 2021 really is a make-or-break year for the Michigan football program.

In the past, I’ve gone on plenty of Jim Harbaugh rants, and those don’t need any further justification; his tenure as the head coach of Michigan football has been a failure.

It’s amazing to think most of us were optimistic but cautious when the school hired first-time head coach Juwan Howard to replace John Beilein to run the men’s basketball team; Howard has been everything and more of what was expected of Harbaugh at Michigan.

The year 2021 bears plenty of questions surrounding the Wolverines football program, but like any program, none more important than the quarterback position.  Well, the good news is that can all be put to rest; for now.

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Recently, Michigan Football’s first-year quarterback coach Matt Weiss called Cade McNamara the ‘clear-cut’ starter.

Partway through last season, the Wolverines turned over the reins to Cade McNamara after Joe Milton‘s struggles continued.  Looking back to just a year ago at this time, it’s obvious Milton had just been the latest Michigan quarterback to be overhyped.

Milton appeared in six games last year for the Wolverines as a junior completing just 56.7% of his pass attempts totaling 1,077 yards, good for an average of 7.6 yards per attempt.  The dual-threat Milton totaled just four passing touchdowns to go with his four interceptions.  The first-year starter only rushed for 2.9 yards per rush, galloping for 109 yards on 38 totes and one touchdown.

McNamara performed in four contests last season as a sophomore completing 60.6% of his passes, totaling 425 yards, throwing five touchdowns, and zero interceptions.  McNamara averaged six yards per attempt.  Josh Gattis’ offense leaves a lot to be desired.

It seems as though Milton saw the writing on the wall after losing the starting job to McNamara, plus understanding the school’s five-star freshman recruit J.J. McCarthy had already arrived on campus. Milton chose to enter the transfer portal and will look for a new opportunity this summer.

Weiss mentioned on former Michigan football offensive lineman Jon Jansen’s podcast titled ‘In the trenches‘ that McNamara had been named the MVP of Michigan’s recent Spring game, which had been closed to the public.

With the scrimmage being closed to the public, we’re just taking for granted McNamara played exceptionally well against the Wolverines defense, but with no one in attendance, it also may mask how poorly the state of the program may, in fact, be.

McCarthy was the second quarterback to enter behind McNamara and perhaps will be atop the teams’ depth chart come August.

This may be Harbaugh’s last chance to groom a quarterback wearing the maize and blue.  The so-called quarterback whisperer hasn’t had any success elevating the play of anyone at the position during his tenure.

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Let’s hope McNamara or McCarthy is the answer; Harbaugh’s job may depend on it.