Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara has entered the transfer portal. The class of 2019 signee won the starting job from Joe Milton in 2020 and held it through 2021, leading the Wolverines to a 12-1 record, a Big Ten championship, and the College Football Playoff.
Unfortunately for McNamara, his 2022 season started by losing his starting job to J.J. McCarthy in week two. As a backup in week three, he hurt his knee, which was followed up by knee surgery and ultimately an entry into the portal.
McNamara completed 267/431 passes (63.1%) during his career at Michigan for 3,181 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. He ranks #14 all-time at Michigan in passing yardage despite starting for just over one season.
I gave McNamara a TTB Rating of 65 and assumed he would probably transfer after being stuck behind Dylan McCaffrey and/or Joe Milton. Obviously, I was wrong about the circumstances – and he deserved a higher TTB Rating – but it turns out he is transferring after being knocked down the depth chart, just not in favor of McCaffrey or Milton. The 2021 season was a pretty magical year and McNamara had some great performances, including against Rutgers in 2020, Penn State in 2021, and even Michigan State in 2021, despite the latter being a loss.
It’s hard to blame McNamara for looking for a new opportunity. He had the job and lost it, and his replacement is going to be around for another year or two. McNamara has two seasons of eligibility remaining, and with his resume, he could potentially go elsewhere and earn a starting job for the next two years. He could even end up still playing in the Big Ten; Iowa (Spencer Petras) and Purdue (Aidan O’Connell) both have quarterbacks graduating after this season.
Michigan is now down to McCarthy, walk-on Davis Warren, and redshirt freshmen Alex Orji and Jayden Denegal. The Wolverines appear not to be interested in taking a quarterback in the class of 2023. Unless they go after a player in the transfer portal, the depth will be rather thin in 2023 and, in my opinion, not very talented outside of McCarthy and Warren. However, some Michigan people seem to believe that it opens the door for an early contribution from Charlotte (NC) Providence Day quarterback Jadyn Davis, who is thought to be a Michigan lean.
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