Cade McNamara was the starting quarterback for Michigan football's Big Ten championship team last year, but there's no guarantee he'll be starting again this fall.
At Big Ten Media Day on Tuesday, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh officially confirmed that as of now, McNamara and J.J. McCarthy are in an open competition for the starting quarterback role.
"Last year they both had phenomenal seasons. J.J. in his true freshman year, Cade in his junior year," Harbaugh said, via 247Sports' Zach Shaw. "Both played outstanding, winning football every time they went out there. A really cool stat on Cade McNamara is over 50 percent of his drives end in points. I don't know exactly what the stat is for J.J., but it seems like every time he got in there and led a drive, it ended in points as well. Both really good. Sometimes at other positions, who's going to play? The best players are going to play, and we're going to know who the best player is by who plays the best."
Harbaugh went on to say that both signal callers would be "tough to beat out."
In 2021, McNamara completed 64.2% of his passes while throwing for 2,576 yards, 15 touchdowns and only six interceptions. But McCarthy made the most of the opportunities he received, hitting on 34-of-59 attempts for 516 yards, five touchdowns and two picks.
The highly-regarded freshman was also the more effective runner, outgaining McNamara on the ground 124-to-26 and also rushing for two touchdowns, compared to McNamara's one rushing score.
With that being said, it seems logical that McNamara would have the upper hand going into training camp. However, if Harbaugh is comfortable with it, we might see both players having significant roles this season.