It's still obviously still early, but early reports suggest that junior Cade McNamara is firmly in control of the quarterback battle at this point.
Meeting with the media on Friday afternoon, senior offensive lineman Ryan Hayes indicated that - while all quarterbacks have been performing well so far - McNamara is certainly leading the bunch.
"The quarterbacks have been great. Cade's been playing really well, Dan's been playing really well, and to see JJ come in - he's made some good throws. He's definitely learning the offense still, but he's definitely done some things where it's like, "oh wow, yea this kid's going to be good one day." All of the quarterbacks have been doing great, but Cade's been leading them for sure."
Though injury limited his reps during the 2020 season, McNamara showed promise when his number was called. Down 17-0 on the road against Rutgers, McNamara relieved junior quarterback Joe Milton just before halftime. The 6-1, 205-pounder would go on to lead Michigan to a spectacular comeback victory in triple-overtime while showing great poise, touch and accuracy. He was off to a decent start the next week in his first start against Penn State before getting injured. In his four game appearances, McNamara was 43-of-71 for 425 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.
Interestingly enough, McNamara was somewhat of an afterthought one year ago at this time - as Joe Milton and Dylan McCaffrey were the favorites to become Michigan's next QB1 and QB2. After losing the quarterback battle to Milton, McCaffrey would opt to sit out the 2020 season and would eventually enter his name in the transfer portal. Milton would also end up entering his name in the transfer portal after struggling throughout the 2020 season and losing the starting job to McNamara in week six.
Not only will McNamara need to continue to fight off guys like Dan Villari and JJ McCarthy, Texas Tech transfer quarterback Alan Bowman will also throw his hat into the ring when he arrives on campus in a matter of weeks. Though extremely talented, Bowman suffered multiple injuries during his time at Texas Tech that would prevent him from solidifying the starting role throughout his career.
As of now, It now looks like McNamra's hard work and patience is about to pay off in a very big way as he continues to solidify himself as Michigan's QB1.