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Cade McNamara enters preseason camp as Michigan's No. 1 quarterback


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Indianapolis — Not surprisingly, Cade McNamara will enter Michigan’s preseason camp as the No. 1 quarterback, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said during Big Ten Media Days.

McNamara led Michigan to a comeback at Rutgers last season and started against Penn State, after Joe Milton started the first five games. Michigan went 2-4 and canceled the final three games because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

“Right now, Cade McNamara has done a tremendous job, played in some games last year, did very well, went through spring practice and was outstanding,” Harbaugh said Thursday. “He’s our No. 1 quarterback going into fall camp.

“You talk about taking the reins of leadership, that’s something he has done. He has been that guy throughout the entire spring and training cycle and summer. (He leads) by example, also pulling other guys along with him. He’s a fiery competitor. He’s got that gene that he must win, must give it his best at all times.”

Five-star recruit J.J. McCarthy was an early enrollee and went through spring practice. Alan Bowman has transferred from Texas Tech and Dan Villari also is returning to the quarterback room.

More: Trainer: 'Renegade' QB Alan Bowman coming to Michigan 'to play right now'

“J.J. McCarthy has some of those very same qualities (as McNamara),” Harbaugh said. “Done an excellent job in spring practice. He’s fiery, and he’s got the athletic ability and the arm talent to get it done.

“But Cade McNamara is not letting him take it away. That’s probably the best thing for our team, for J.J. and all of us. That’s where we stand as I see it.”

Harbaugh said Villari is improving in all areas and said Bowman had a “good summer cycle."

“I’ve heard good things,” Harbaugh said of Bowman. “I like his energy, I like the confidence he has, the experience he has. He’s played a lot of football games. Tough guy and excited to watch him in training camp.”

achengelis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @chengelis

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