Sep 3, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) passes against the Colorado State Rams at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa lands Michigan transfer QB Cade McNamara

Iowa appears to have found its starting quarterback for 2023, as former Michigan starter Cade McNamara announced Thursday night that he is committed to the Hawkeyes.

McNamara entered the transfer portal earlier this week.

“New beginning,” McNamara tweeted along with a mock-up of himself in an Iowa uniform.

McNamara led Michigan to its first College Football Playoff appearance in 2021. The Wolverines won their first Big Ten title since 2004 and finished the season 12-2.

However, in the second game of the 2022 season, McNamara lost his starting job to sophomore J.J. McCarthy, a five-star recruit in the 2021 class who has the Wolverines on the brink of a second straight CFP appearance.

McNamara, named an offensive captain in August, started the opener against Colorado State on Sept. 3 and was 9 of 18 for 136 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson, before McCarthy took over the job.

After getting hurt in the Wolverines’ Sept. 17 game against UConn, McNamara subsequently underwent knee surgery.

McNamara played in 21 games at Michigan and completed 267 passes for 3,181 yards, with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He added two rushing TDs.

Iowa (7-5, 5-4 Big Ten) has needed help at quarterback. Spencer Petras was the Hawkeyes’ starter in 2022, and he threw for 1,725 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions while completing just 55.9 percent of his throws, all while Iowa ranked 130th of 131 FBS programs in total offense (255.4 yards per game).

Petras is playing his final year of NCAA eligibility, and backup Alex Padilla entered the transfer portal earlier this week.

McNamara will have two seasons of eligibility remaining due to a redshirt and the NCAA’s decision to add a year of eligibility because of COVID-19.

–Field Level Media

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Cade McNamara celebrate a touchdown against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

Syndication Detroit Free Press

Jim Harbaugh on Michigan’s two-QB system: ‘It’s really biblical’

Jim Harbaugh is doing things by the book at Michigan.

In granting the Wolverines’ top two quarterbacks each a start to begin the regular season, Harbaugh delayed naming a No. 1 quarterback after considering biblical guidance.

Cade McNamara will start for No. 8 Michigan against Colorado State on Saturday. Sophomore J.J. McCarthy gets the nod Sept. 10 against Hawaii.

Harbaugh said both quarterbacks will play in each game.

“No person, that’s biblical, no person knows what the future holds,” Harbaugh said Monday. “It’s a process and it’s going to be based on performance, but we’re not going to withhold any good thing. Both have been tremendous quarterbacks. We think that both are capable of leading our team to a championship.”

McNamara was the starter for the Wolverines in 2021 on the way to Michigan’s outright conference championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Harbaugh said McNamara was “arguably one of the most improved players on the team” following a season in which he amassed 2,576 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.

McCarthy was a top-25 overall recruit but an injured throwing shoulder limited his availability this spring. He came off the bench to play in 11 games in 2021.

The quarterbacks made a decision difficult on the Wolverines’ coaching staff, Harbaugh said, adding he believes both are ready to lead the team to a championship if their number is called.

“Some people have asked, ‘How did you come to that decision? Was it based on some kind of NFL model?’” Harbaugh said. “No, it’s really based biblical. Solomon, he was known to be a pretty wise person.”

–Field Level Media