The Wolverine

June-July 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 48 of 67

JUNE/JULY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 49 M ichigan football is heading into the summer, with the picture of who its top players are on offense be- coming clearer coming out of spring ball. Head coach Jim Harbaugh knows the operation starts at quarterback, and there are some exciting possi- bilities surrounding the Wolverines' 2021 signal-callers. That begins with redshirt freshman Cade McNamara, who completed 43 of 71 pass at- tempts for 425 yards with five touch- downs last season, and helped lead the Maize and Blue to a comeback victory in triple-overtime at Rutgers. New quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss said McNamara is the starter coming out of spring ball. While that could change before the season opener against Western Michigan Sept. 4, Harbaugh, while appearing on the "In The Trenches" podcast with host Jon Jansen, also expressed how solid McNamara was in the 15 practices the team had. "Cade just continues to play well. Just continual progress from Cade," Harbaugh said. "He had a great spring, so I was super excited for Cade. He took what he did last fall in games and continued to build on it on a daily basis. Very confident, knows the system inside and out, been really fun working with him. "Matt Weiss is doing a great job, and Cade is a sponge for knowledge, always trying to improve and add to what he's doing." "Cade is a guy who — I think for everything that people are going to say to criticize him — is going to end up playing 10 years in the NFL," Weiss said in his own appearance on Jansen's show. There is also plenty of excitement within the program about freshman early enrollee J.J. McCarthy, a former four-star, top-50 recruit nationally. "J.J. was terrific as a mid-year freshman, and got himself all the way up to No. 2 [on the depth chart]," Harbaugh revealed. "J.J. is a highly talented guy. Arm strength, mobility, great athlete — all of that stuff is obvious as soon as you step on the field with him," Weiss added. "But I've been even more im- pressed with his approach to things. His maturity is far beyond his years." That leaves freshman Dan Villari, who did not appear in a game last season, at No. 3. At 6-4, 227 pounds, Villari is a dual-threat quarterback with a lot of strength. Harbaugh said the Wolverines are experimenting with some of the things they can do with Villari, moving him around and finding a way to get him on the field, similar to what the New Orleans Saints do with Taysom Hill. U-M will also bring in Texas Tech transfer quarterback Alan Bowman, who has three years of eligibility re- maining, this summer. — Clayton Sayfie JIM HARBAUGH THINKS NEW DEFENSE, LED BY HUTCHINSON, WILL BE 'PRETTY DARN GOOD' Michigan head coach Jim Har- baugh brought back just one assis- tant — line coach Shaun Nua — on the defensive side of the ball, and brought in four new staffers for the unit, including coordinator Mike Macdonald and co-coordinator/sec- ondary coach Maurice Linguist. It's not just the faces that are differ- ent, but the scheme has been changed dramatically, too, with an odd front MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Jim Harbaugh, Matt Weiss Talk QB Pecking Order Heading Into Summer Redshirt freshman Cade McNamara is the starter at quarterback coming out of spring ball. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - June-July 2021