With the Big Ten football season just around the corner, all eyes are on Michigan. After Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines stumbled along to a dismal 2-4 record last year, many are wondering what will become of the storied program in 2021.
Among the numerous problems that hampered Michigan last season was shoddy play at quarterback. Week 1 starter Joe Milton dazzled in his first game under center before the Wolverines dropped three games in row. He went to the bench during Michigan’s blowout loss to Wisconsin, giving way to Cade McNamara who barely led the team to an overtime victory in its next matchup against Rutgers before losing to Penn State in what would become the final game of the season.
Harbaugh will have a lot riding on the upcoming campaign. As a result, he wants to leave little doubt about his plan at quarterback headed into the season.
During his press conference ad the Big Ten’s Media Day on Thursday, Harbaugh shared that McNamara is Michigan’s “No. 1 quarterback” headed into fall camp, according to Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News.
Harbaugh: calls McNamara "our No. 1 quarterback going into fall camp"
— angelique (@chengelis) July 22, 2021
Harbaugh’s firm declaration isn’t much of a surprise, considering Milton transferred to Tennessee this offseason. The move gave way for McNamara to be the top dog in 2021.
As a first-time starter last year, McNamara saw action in four games and showed promise in each of his appearances. He completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 425 yards and five touchdowns, while throwing no interceptions during his time under center.
McNamara showed his inexperience at times in 2020, but his ability to protect the football bodes well for his continued development. With another full, and more typical, offseason under his belt, the rising junior is well-positioned to take a leap forward this year.
Harbaugh will be banking on just that as he tries to reverse Michigan’s sour trajectory. The Wolverines will open up their season on Sept. 4 against in-state competitor Western Michigan.