Michigan football: Quarterback decision won’t happen by start of season

Michigan football should be in store for a fantastic follow-up to their playoff run, but the starting quarterback for the 2022 season remains undetermined.

Jim Harbaugh exorcised quite a few demons in the 2021 season. Michigan football not only got the lingering Ohio State monkey off of their back in a snowy, dominant performance, but the Wolverines effectively punched their first ticket to the College Football Playoff by doing so.

There have been some questions about what the encore will be for the program, particularly with the losses of guys like Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo on what was a dominant defense. But anyone paying attention knows that there is a boatload of talent in Ann Arbor that has been waiting in the wings.

However, the big question hanging over the 2022 season has been who will start at quarterback. Yes, Cade McNamara was at the helm a year ago as the Wolverines made their run. But with J.J. McCarthy, a former 5-star recruit, having a year in the program under his belt and potentially representing an upgrade at the position, many have wondered if Harbaugh will make the switch.

As it turns out, we might not know for quite some time, though — and almost surely not by Week 1 against Colorado State.

Michigan football: Starting quarterback won’t be determined by Week 1

Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil spoke with reporters this week and highlighted the uncertainty about the starting quarterback decision, noting that it’s a tight battle and that Harbaugh likely won’t name a starter for some time.

“I would say it’s still neck-and-neck,” Sainristil said (h/t MLive). “You probably won’t see a starter for the first game. You probably won’t see it second game, (either). You might not see one until Game 6. That’s how much they’re competing right now. We’ll see. Even I’m not sure.”

That’s actually great news for Michigan and one that we should definitely believe. Harbaugh isn’t one to posture to protect from players entering the transfer portal, something he didn’t do last year as he was emphatic that McNamara was the guy. Because of that, you have to believe the word out of Ann Arbor that this is a tight race and how each player performs come game time could be the deciding factor.

Whatever the case, the Wolverines should be in a good position to compete atop the Big Ten East yet again, though a playoff berth could be a longshot. Even still, the arrow is still pointed up for this program.

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