Michigan’s QB Battle Gets A Significant Update

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Michigan might go several weeks without naming a starting QB.

Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy continue to battle it out for the QB1 role in Ann Arbor, and with Michigan’s season starting in just 10 days, fans are eager for coach Jim Harbaugh to make a decision.

He previously said he might not name a week one starter, and it now sounds like there’s a real chance he won’t name a starting QB into October or later.

Will Cade McNamara start at QB for Michigan? (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“I would say it’s still neck-and-neck. You probably won’t see a starter for the first game. You probably won’t see it second game, (either). You might not see one until Game 6. That’s how much they’re competing right now. We’ll see. Even I’m not sure,” Michigan DB Mike Sainristil told the media Tuesday, according to MLive.com.

Cade McNamara is battling J.J. McCarthy for the QB1 role in Ann Arbor. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michigan’s QB battle is one of the most fascinating in the country. Cade McNamara led Michigan to a 12-2 record, a Big Ten championship and a College Football Playoff appearance in 2021.

He’s not a great athlete or a star passer, but he’s the definition of an awesome game manager. He doesn’t make mistakes and can do just about anything necessary you need him to do.

Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy are battling for the starting QB role in Ann Arbor. (Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images)

Last year, he threw for 2,576 yards, 15 touchdowns and only six interceptions. His numbers weren’t eye-popping, but his steadiness and consistency proved huge for the Wolverines down the stretch.

On the other hand, J.J. McCarthy saw much more limited action last season, and finished the year with 512 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. However, he’s an outstanding athlete, and the ceiling is definitely higher with him under center.

Harbaugh has to decide whether he wants to ride with the rock solid game manager who got him 12 last seasons last year or if he wants to go with the much younger and riskier option with more upside.

Can J.J. McCarthy win the starting QB job for the Wolverines? (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

It’s not a bad position to be in. Both are more than capable of playing, and it looks like Harbaugh has every intention of taking his time.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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