Who Starts At QB For Michigan? Cade McNamara or J.J. McCarthy?
The title of this article says it all. It is the number 1 question surrounding Michigan football as fall practice continues in preparation of the Wolverines season opener against Colorado State on Saturday, September 3rd at the Big House (Michigan Stadium) in Ann Arbor.
Who Starts At QB For Michigan? Cade McNamara or J.J. McCarthy (pictured above)?
Both guys played a lot last season, and both contributed to the Big Ten title and a berth in the College Football Playoff last season.
Both McNamara and McCarthy have sophomore eligibility. McCarthy is a true sophomore (second-year player), while McNamara is a fourth-year sophomore (he redshirted in 2019, played during the free COVID-19 year of 2020, and then started all 14 games last season). MSU QB Payton Thorne has exactly the same eligibility McNamara has for the same reasons stated.
LAST YEAR'S STATS
McNamara threw for 2,576 yards with 15 touchdowns and 6 interceptions while starting all 14 games. While McCarthy threw for only 516 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions in 11 games played. J.J. had two rushing touchdowns on the year, while Cade had one.
EXPERIENCE & INJURIES A FACTOR IN THE DECISION?
McNamara has an advantage with experience (as stated above) and the fact that he didn't get hurt before or during spring ball. McCarthy suffered a shoulder injury late in the 2021 season that limited him in the spring. Cade started all 14 games while McCarthy played in 11.
A TOM BRADY-DREW HENSON SITUATION?
But many fans and observers believe that McNamara is closer to his ceiling as far as talent goes, and that McCarthy is the better option longterm. You've heard people rave about McCarthy's potential since he stepped on campus last year. And some believe J.J. is the one that has better pro prospects (better upside) because of his athleticism and stronger arm.
IMO, this sounds like the Tom Brady-Drew Henson situation that occurred in 1998 & 1999. Head coach Lloyd Carr played both guys in both years. But his inability to settle on Tom Brady may have cost Michigan a chance at a national championship in 1999.
Will Jim Harbaugh pick the right guy? Or play both and possibly hinder the team this season?
IN MY OPINION...
Harbaugh will start McNamara, but play McCarthy a lot. Especially in short yardage situations. McCarthy is more mobile and has big-time potential, but Cade has done nothing to warrant him being benched. All McNamara did was lead the team past Ohio State, win the Big Ten title, and get Michigan to the playoff. McCarthy was a big part as well, but not like Cade was.
What do you guys think Harbaugh will do? Let us know!!!