Cade McNamara Named Michigan's Starting QB over J.J. McCarthy, Alan Bowman

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 30, 2021

Michigan's Cade McNamara throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Piscataway, N.J. Michigan won 48-42. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh named Cade McNamara the team's starting quarterback for the season-opener against Western Michigan on Saturday, per Austin Meek of The Athletic. 

"He's ratcheted it up in a lot of different areas," Harbaugh said Monday. "The biggest one is consistency."

McNamara was on top of the depth chart after spring practices and beat out J.J. McCarthy and Alan Bowman for the starting job, per Meek.

The redshirt sophomore appeared in four games last season, totaling 425 passing yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

McNamara burst onto the scene during a come-from-behind win over Rutgers last season, totaling five touchdowns (including one rushing) in the 48-42 victory. Michigan was trailing 17-0 early in the game and appeared set for a fourth straight loss behind Joe Milton before the quarterback switch.

That was enough for him to earn the start against Penn State in the season finale, although the quarterback finished just 12-of-25 for 91 yards in a 27-17 loss.

Michigan finished 2-4 during the shortened 2020 campaign, its first losing season since Harbaugh took over 2015.

McNamara, the No. 7 pro-style passer in the 2019 class on 247Sports composite rankings, will look to turn things around in 2021.

There is still plenty of hype surrounding McCarthy, who was a 5-star recruit and considered the No. 25 overall player in the country in the incoming freshman class. Bowman has the most experience of the group with 5,260 passing yards and 33 touchdowns across three seasons at Texas Tech before transferring.

It gives Michigan multiple options this season if McNamara falters.