2023 Season Countdown: #104 Jayden Denegal
Name: Jayden Denegal
Weight: 238 lbs.
High school: Apple Valley (CA) Apple Valley
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #14
Last year: I ranked Denegal #97 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He played in one game.
TTB Rating: 61
Denegal may have been regarded as a better passing quarterback than classmate Alex Orji last season, but it turned out that Michigan didn’t really need a passer. They didn’t really need Orji as a runner, either. They mostly just needed J.J. McCarthy and a few backups to take garbage time snaps (though Cade McNamara did start one unimpressive game before getting injured). Denegal got into the UConn game to hand off the ball, and that was it.
While McNamara is off to Iowa, McCarthy returns and will be backed up by some combination of Jack Tuttle and/or Davis Warren. Orji has earned some off-season hype because he’s 6’3″ and 235 lbs., looks really strong, and can run and jump and do fun things to watch. Some people have been clamoring for Orji to get the Dan Villari treatment and come in for some occasional running plays.
No one is clamoring for Denegal at this point. Buzz out of practice has been next to nil, but that’s what tends to happen for the quarterback who is roughly fifth on the depth chart. With McCarthy possibly gone in 2024, maybe he will get a chance to vie for the starting job next season, but for now it seems like he will be buried on the depth chart for at least one season. I would expect to see him on the field a little here and there in mop-up duty.
Prediction: Backup quarterback