Michigan reveals plan for QBs Cade McNamara, J.J. McCarthy, but no decision on long-term starter

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Michigan’s quarterback competition is going to carry over into the regular season.

Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh announced Saturday that Cade McNamara will start the opener against Colorado State before J.J. McCarthy gets the nod in Week 2 vs. Hawaii. After that, Harbaugh and his staff will determine who gets the start for Week 3 and beyond.

“Both quarterbacks have played great. Coming out of camp, I just feel like we have two quarterbacks, Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy, that we feel very confident we can win a championship with either of those two behind center,” Harbaugh said.

“After Week 2 we will make a decision going into Week 3 on the starter and the backup.”

McNamara was Michigan’s starter in 2021 and helped lead the Wolverines to a Big Ten title, but McCarthy also saw significant action.

McNamara threw for 2,576 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions while the coaches worked in a package of plays for McCarthy. McCarthy was a top 50 recruit in 2021 who proved to be too talented to keep off the field. He threw for 516 yards, rushed for 124 yards and had seven total touchdowns.

McNamara, now a fourth-year junior, was very steady last season but many believe McCarthy has a higher upside. McCarthy showed he can be a dynamic runner, but if he takes the next step as a passer he could end up moving to the top of the depth chart for the Wolverines in 2022.

Michigan hosts UConn in Week 3 before opening up Big Ten play at home against Maryland in Week 4, so it’s possible this decision may not be finalized for quite some time.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh apparently doesn't plan to name a long-term starting quarterback until Week 3 at the earliest. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh apparently doesn't plan to name a long-term starting quarterback until Week 3 at the earliest. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Reports: Texas A&M going with Haynes King

Michigan wasn’t the only high-profile program to make some quarterback news this weekend.

According to multiple reports, Texas A&M is going with Haynes King as its starter when the season opens against Sam Houston State next Saturday. King beat out LSU transfer Max Johnson and top 40 freshman Conner Weigman for the starting job.

King, now in his third year with the Aggies, beat out Zach Calzada for the starting role out of camp last season but suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2. Before the injury, he threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Kent State, but also tossed three interceptions in that outing. Calzada started the rest of the season for the Aggies before transferring to Auburn in the offseason.