Cade McNamara, Wolverine

Cade McNamara, Wolverine


March 17, 2018

Reno (NV) Damonte Ranch QB Cade McNamara

Reno (NV) Damonte Ranch quarterback Cade McNamara committed to Michigan on Friday evening. A recent decommit from Notre Dame, he also chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Georgia, and USC.

McNamara is 6’1″, 187 lbs. and claims a 4.8 forty. As a junior in 2017, he completed 225/384 passes for 3,470 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Overall, he has thrown for 9,089 yards, 107 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions as a three-year starter.

RATINGS
ESPN: 3-star, 78 grade, #8 pocket passer, #296 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #9 pro-style QB
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #9 pro-style QB, #302 overall

Hit the jump for more on McNamara.

McNamara committed to Notre Dame in July of 2017. Michigan offered him in late January, and he decommitted from Notre Dame in early March.

McNamara has some very positive aspects to his game. He moves well in the pocket and does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield on the move. He keeps his shoulders square to give himself an opportunity to make accurate throws downfield, and he has a quick release. He shows some quickness and can run a little bit if the pocket breaks down. Not only due to his stats, but based on his film, he shows excellent command of the offense and knows where guys are going to be; he doesn’t just wait for some random dude to pop open. McNamara throws the ball with nice touch and can drop it in over the top of defenders. He’s got a strong enough arm, though it’s not on the level of someone like Joe Milton. I also like McNamara’s toughness – he’s played a lot of football and shows an ability to take a hit.

On the negative side, McNamara isn’t very big at 6’1″ and 187 lbs. He may struggle at times to see past his 6’5″ offensive linemen, and Michigan may need to adjust its offense in some cases to play to his strengths. He’s not the most physically impressive prospect (size, speed, arm strength), so he will need to rely on his accuracy and intelligence. He also appears to run a shotgun spread offense, so he will need to learn to work from under center with fullbacks, tight ends, etc.

Overall, I like McNamara. It’s really not a very deep 2019 class of quarterbacks, but McNamara has some potential. He’s not a prototypical Jim Harbaugh quarterback (a.k.a. a 6’4″, 210 lb. guy), so it will be curious to see if this signals that Michigan is moving in a bit of a new direction. Anyway, one thing I alluded to up above is that I am not impressed with McNamara’s offensive line. Maybe it’s just the plays selected for his highlight film, but he is constantly running for his life and taking hits, and he doesn’t even appear to be a jittery guy who takes off too early. The highlights below just show a guy who needs to create as soon as he catches the shotgun snap. As I watch his film, I can’t help being reminded of Russell Wilson with his size, mobility, and throwing mechanics.

Michigan now has six commitments in the class of 2019, including one quarterback. There has been talk that Michigan could take two quarterbacks in this class after losing Kevin Doyle late in the 2018 cycle, and I could definitely see that happening. Not only are they slightly thin at the QB position already, but Shea Patterson could leave after the 2018 season if he’s eligible to play and plays well, leaving just Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey, Milton, and McNamara. Right now the class is only scheduled to have 11 players (LINK), but I think this class will be bigger than the 19-person group in 2018.

TTB Rating: I’m not posting 2019 TTB Ratings until I finalize the 2018 ratings.

28 comments

  1. Comments: 1145
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Mar 17, 2018 at 7:40 AM

    One good thing about the guy lacking the huge arm is that he’s never tempted to try to blow it past the coverage.

    On the negative side, he’s likely to get the occasional nasty surprise from BIG safeties on some of those beautiful floaters he likes to send out there for guys to run under. That isn’t gonna fly so smoothly against the range at this level. It is pretty though.

    Overall, I’ll take the accurate arm over the canon. Russell Wilson would be fine by me.

  2. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 253
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Mar 17, 2018 at 10:16 AM

    Love the pickup. Shorter QB’s with improvisational skills have tons of success in modern CFB. Glad to see that JH is not over-emphasizing NFL prototype height and arm strength in his recent targets. I like that McNamara shows the ability to deliver accurately under pressure and when running for his life, especially from different arm-angles and when he doesn’t have the space to step into his throws. I don’t think those improv skills/instincts can be taught.

    Just speculating… I am guessing that McNamara’s interest in UM gave the coaches confidence to pull back on Doyle, late in the ’18 cycle.

    Getting a QB signed early is important for recruiting class momentum, in my opinion. Will help build some recruit camaraderie for the spring visit season. I’m sure there were many factors to the ’18 class fizzling, but not having an ’18 QB locked up until after spring did not help.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Mar 17, 2018 at 12:38 PM

      I don’t think McNamara and Doyle have anything to do with each other. One reason is that Michigan didn’t offer McNamara until January 24, and he was still committed to Notre Dame until early March. Another is that Doyle was being asked to go to prep school by Michigan, even without another QB commit in the fold other than Milton. That Doyle-to-prep-school thing had been in the works for months, and Doyle just soured on it. He wanted to go somewhere he could get in the system earlier.

      I don’t think the timing of Milton’s commitment had much to do with the class fizzling. Sure, maybe it “didn’t help” that he committed later than some QBs do, but he pledged in early May of 2017. Georgia’s QB didn’t commit until October, Ohio State’s QB didn’t commit until December (and they lost Emory Jones), and Alabama didn’t even take a QB.

      • Painter Smurf
        Comments: 253
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        Painter Smurf
        Mar 17, 2018 at 1:27 PM

        I’m not arguing that Bama or OSU need an early QB commit to have a great class. Those schools can flip four stars at the drop of a hat. Just that it helps with offensive recruiting, especially for a program like UM that relies more heavily on hooking kids and building momentum in the off season.

    • Comments: 1145
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Mar 17, 2018 at 8:13 PM

      I don’t think there is anything to read from this take in terms of us wanting to think a different way about our QB takes. It’s a thin year, this is a four year starter that has some polish and makes plays. We would have cheerfully grabbed the kid from Vegas last year, he’s definitely a dual threat kid. I think the philosophy is we’re gonna take the best kid or two we can get, taller is probably better, but big arms and accurate kids are good too. Sort it all out in practice.

  3. OVOXO
    Comments: 5
    Joined: 12/29/2016
    OVOXO
    Mar 17, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    I see a lot of Tate Forcier in this pick up. I always loved the way guys like Forcier, Jeff Garcia, and Russell Wilson created on the fly. Not necessarily mobile or “dual threat”, but quick and crafty enough to allow receivers improvise and get open. As I type, I’m reminded of nightmares of Troy Smith…

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Mar 17, 2018 at 12:31 PM

      IMO, McNamara is more fundamentally sound than Forcier. I agree that they’re similar, but I like McNamara more.

      • GKblue
        Comments: 268
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        GKblue
        Mar 17, 2018 at 3:29 PM

        Encouraging with respect to your comment on fundamentals. I was reminded of Forcier also.

        I think Forcier played QB and school lacking discipline.

  4. Comments: 848
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Mar 17, 2018 at 1:24 PM

    What does it mean that Michigan’s quarterbacking “may be moving in a new direction” with this recruit? So far, I haven’t seen ANY direction to our quarterbacking.

    And what is it with this fan base fretting over our QBs bolting early for the NFL when they haven’t even had one season that would qualify them for that? Devin Gardner? Wilton Speight? (His chances of leaving early for the pros are confirmed at 0.00%). And now Patterson, who may not even be eligible, and hasn’t played a down for us, is going to be so good that the NFL can’t wait to get their hands on him? Because Harbaugh is such a quarterback guru that he can’t make diddly out of his own recruits who have been here far longer? Sheesh.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Mar 19, 2018 at 8:26 PM

      Somehow, I knew you would still find something to complain about on a post celebrating the commitment of a 4-star quarterback.

      • Comments: 848
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Mar 22, 2018 at 7:18 AM

        I wasn’t negative about McNamara at all…you were:

        “On the negative side, McNamara isn’t very big at 6’1″ and 187 lbs. He may struggle at times to see past his 6’5″ offensive linemen, and Michigan may need to adjust its offense in some cases to play to his strengths. He’s not the most physically impressive prospect (size, speed, arm strength), so he will need to rely on his accuracy and intelligence. He also appears to run a shotgun spread offense, so he will need to learn to work from under center with fullbacks, tight ends, etc.”

        I Just responded to a few peripheral comments of yours that didn’t make much sense. As far as getting excited about McNamara, I’ll wait until Harbaugh shows he can make a star out of any of the guys he’s recruited at QB. So far, he’s failed, to the extent that in his fourth year, with two highly rated recruits of his own in the stable, everyone is crossing their fingers hard that a transfer will be ruled eligible.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2614
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Mar 22, 2018 at 7:31 AM

          Yes, every single one of my commitment posts includes strengths and weaknesses.

          The negativity continues…

          • Comments: 848
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Mar 22, 2018 at 1:22 PM

            If you want to talk about things I’ve said that are clearly wrong, fine and dandy.

            As far as negativity, we’re coming off an 8-5 season, with none of our problems from last year showing any signs of getting better. QB and OLine are still a muddled mess, more turnover in coaching staff, not for good reasons, and recruiting not getting anyone too excited. All this going into Harbaugh’s 4th year, when most people expected us to be NC contenders. That’s reality.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 2614
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Mar 23, 2018 at 10:11 AM

              That’s the glass-half-empty way of looking at it. We’re coming off an 8-5 season we lose very little from. Why? Because Michigan was playing a ton of underclassmen. All we lose is our fullbacks, our left tackle, our #2 QB (O’Korn), a NT, and a LB.

              Few problems show signs of getting better in the off-season, particularly before spring ball…

              …but getting a transfer 5-star QB is a “sign of getting better” to most people. You’re ignoring that because you are full of negativity.

              Coaching turnover isn’t for good reasons? Brian Smith went from a position coach to getting a DC job. Greg Frey went from OT/TE coach to coaching the whole offensive line and (IIRC) being the run game coordinator at FSU, his alma mater. We’re replacing Drevno with a well respected OL coach (Warinner) and a guy who used to be a Power 5 head coach (McElwain).

              There are signs pointing upward. You just don’t want to say anything positive. THAT’S reality.

              • Comments: 848
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Mar 24, 2018 at 9:17 PM

                If you want to be the glass half full guy, be my guest. Your first duty is to explain why our glass is only half full going into Harbaugh’s 4th season, when a couple years ago, a lot of people were predicting that we’d contend for a national championship by now.

                I’ll repeat…our QB and Oline situations are still a muddled mess. How many teams that are in a position to contend for anything this year don’t have a single high quality starter back on the Oline and don’t have even one quality QB returning? Who’s the offensive lineman on our roster with the most proven, on-field talent? If you said Bredeson, then you should understand how much trouble we’re looking at.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 2614
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Mar 24, 2018 at 11:15 PM

                  I’m not a glass-half-full guy. That’s not the point.

                  The point is that you are negative about EVERYTHING. Seriously, I don’t know that I’ve ever read a positive comment from you here, and you’ve posted 735 times since August of 2015.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3828
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Mar 21, 2018 at 1:08 PM

      I agree that Speight’s chances of going pro early are 0.00% though I think if you include the CFL, XFL and others it might be more like 0.0001%. so maybe there’s some rounding here.

      “Stats don’t lie.”

  5. 17years
    Comments: 57
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Mar 17, 2018 at 2:13 PM

    Wasn’t Joe Montana 6’1″, 185, when he went into the pros? Maybe I’m remembering that wrong, and he was bigger. But I read somewhere he wasn’t over 200 lbs until his 4th year in the pros. I also remember some 49er show where teammates of Montana were joking how he couldn’t throw farther than 55 yards.

    I am excited about this kid. He is so accurate, naturally accurate it seems. And like you say, his release is quick. It seems to me he is a Jim Harbaugh type QB. It could be a great match, watching Harbaugh and this kid together. It seems this is the first Harbaugh type QB Jim Harbaugh has had since he’s been at Michigan. I am not including the height and weight prototype you talk about. But just something about him. This could be a match made in heaven.

    This is really good news to me.

  6. Comments: 166
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Extrajuice
    Mar 18, 2018 at 12:45 PM

    This seems like a good get. The main reason I like it is because the the polar-opposite of Milton (whom I think is never going to live up to potential). He comes with a lot of experience and seems pretty accurate. His arm is probably average. I know some have called it above-average but most of his highlights were touch passes. Even his camp films show his arm isn’t that strong. His lineman must absolutely suck because it looks like he’s under pressure every snap! However, it shows how quick his release is and with way more accuracy than most qb’s in high school.

    He looks athletic enough, though I wish there was a little more Shea scrambling ability to his game. If he had that I’d REALLY like the commitment. I am a bit surprised because I thought Sam Johnson was the guy they would get and he reminded me a lot Milton so I’m ok with this development.

    As for a 2nd qb, I think it’s necessary. Unfortunately, we probably won’t pull another top ranked QB so you have to find another guy like Doyle (big loss in my mind). Someone who isn’t highly ranked but has 1-2 qualities that are transferrable to the college game. This recruiting class is going to be really interesting. I like where it’s headed. Hope we keep looking for high-end guys at the other positions.

    • 17years
      Comments: 57
      Joined: 2/6/2018
      17years
      Mar 18, 2018 at 5:38 PM

      The one thing I am always reminded of when people talk about QB arm strength is that Joe Montana did not have a strong arm. But he had accuracy. He had touch. He threw very catchable passes. He was the smartest man on the field. And he still is the best QB I’ve ever seen.

      From what I’ve been reading about Cade McNamara, and without quoting it, McNamara was a pleasure for his coaches to work with because he was smart. And that was said of him as a sophomore.

      He still has 2 years to gain arm strength, and gain weight, his senior HS year, and his redshirt freshman year. Though he is already a tad bigger than Joe Montana was in his college days.

      From reading a little of Notre Dame pages, it looks like he decommitted from ND because of the number of young QBs already there. But that was speculation. He may have not been thrilled with the QBs ND is turning out to the Pros. That seems like a more valid reason, to me anyway. He is smart after all. And I like it that he is willing to go far from home, where he is unknown, and where everything is unfamiliar. I don’t think all QBs that are famous where they are from are willing to do that. From learning about JT Daniels, I got a hunch he chose USC because doing those things was unattractive to him—even though he said JIm Harbaugh, and the Michigan facilities, were everything he was looking for.

      The conclusion that most came to as to why Kevin Doyle left was because he was asked to go to prep school for a year, even though his grades didn’t require it. They wanted him to pick up in the 2019 cycle of players. It looked like, to me, Michigan was willing to take the chance of losing Kevin Doyle to keep Joe Milton. There must be more to it than that though, because with all the shortcomings in Joe Milton’s game we’ve seen on video, and read so much about, it seems a year for him in prep school would have served him very well, where he could work on his game—instead of Kevin Doyle going there. Like you, I don’t think Joe Milton is going to work out the way so many are saying of him. There’s just way too much distance from where he is to where he must be to play at a BIG 10 level. I don’t know if he has it in him to get there as Rivals said of him when they dropped him in ranking, “He continues to make poor decisions with the football and (not) polish his footwork”. That could look ugly against Ohio St, Wisconsin, and Iowa DBs, in other words,almost any POWER 5 school.

      The last thing I would say about Cade McNamara is, with the raw talents he has, and with how far he has already developed them, it would be nuts to not keep him very happy until he signs the paperwork on early signing day in December, which it looks like what he wants to do. His touch, accuracy, and VERY quick release, are rare—and fun to watch!! 🙂

      • Comments: 166
        Joined: 12/19/2015
        Extrajuice
        Mar 18, 2018 at 10:36 PM

        I just wanted to add that arm strength (velocity on ball) really can’t be improved much. It’s something you have or you don’t. Kind of like running fast. Either you do or you don’t. Sure, you may be able to throw 1 mph more next year than a couple years ago or run .1 seconds faster 40 but it’s not something that can dramatically change from now until senior year of college. Regardless, I still like this pickup a lot. Pretty good at everything.

        • 17years
          Comments: 57
          Joined: 2/6/2018
          17years
          Mar 18, 2018 at 11:27 PM

          There promises to be a better O Line and running game with the new coaching. Which, would make life better for the QBs. Ohio St had a very good running game with Warinner coaching the O Line.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2614
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Mar 19, 2018 at 8:24 PM

          I agree that arm strength can’t be improved a ton. That being said, I’m not really concerned about McNamara’s arm strength. He can put enough zip on the ball to be successful at the next level.

  7. Comments: 8
    Joined: 11/3/2015
    trross1200
    Mar 18, 2018 at 1:20 PM

    Did anyone see his commitment post on Twitter? If Cade is really 6’1”, the JH is 6’2”.

    My guess is that some of the height and weight info is a little dated, and that Cade is actually about 6’3” now. But that’s just speculation based on the photo of he and JH together on Twitter.

  8. 17years
    Comments: 57
    Joined: 2/6/2018
    17years
    Mar 19, 2018 at 9:43 PM

    Reason given why Cade McNamara left ND and went with Michigan:

    “looking for the most competitive possible situation in which, even if I do get beat out, I’ll still have a chance to make it to the NFL”.

    link:
    http://mynews4.com/sports/content/damonte-ranchs-cade-mcnamara-decommits-from-notre-dame

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