Former Wolverine Cade McNamara Transfers to Iowa

McNamara Transfer Iowa

Former Wolverine Cade McNamara Transfers to Iowa

One of the top quarterbacks in this year’s transfer portal Cade McNamara will transfer to the Iowa Hawkeyes. The former Michigan Wolverine announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal just days after his team defeated Ohio State on the road in Columbus. The victory capped off an undefeated season and a second-straight Big Ten title game appearance. After playing in only the first three games of this season, McNamara decided to explore his options elsewhere. 

There were several early indications that he had an interest in the Hawkeyes shortly after he entered the portal. Reports also indicated that Iowa had prioritized him as a top target early in the transfer portal window. The Iowa quarterback room was thinned out heading into the offseason with Alex Padilla’s decision to transfer out of Iowa and Spencer Petras’ uncertain future. Questions regarding depth in the quarterback room have been answered as now McNamara has decided on Iowa City.

McNamara’s Historic Michigan Run

As a Wolverine, his 2022 stats were limited. JJ McCarthy beat him out for the starting role and has been prolific all season. However, McNamara’s 2021 season was historic in terms of where he led his team. As the Michigan starting quarterback last season, McNamara threw for 2,572 yards, 15 touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 74.7% adjusted completion percentage. The team suffered just one regular season loss on the road against Michigan State before upsetting Ohio State at home to cap the season. The victory sent Michigan to the Big Ten Championship game for the first time ever. Their opponent, of course, was the Hawkeyes.

After handing Iowa their worst loss since 2017, Michigan earned a trip to the College Football Playoff as the number two seed. They were matched up against Georgia, and their offense was no match for the incredibly talented Bulldog defense of 2021. Despite the early exit in the Playoff, the 12-win campaign was a season of firsts for the Michigan program. They won the Big Ten East title, the Big Ten Conference title, beat Ohio State for the first time in 10 years, and appeared in the College Football Playoff. The quarterback behind such success was McNamara. 

Michigan Iowa Connection

The transfer of players between Ann Arbor and Iowa City is nothing new over the last handful of seasons. In 2015, former Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock transferred to Michigan as a graduate-transfer to play his final season at quarterback. Three years ago in 2019, former Wolverine and four-star recruit Oliver Martin transferred from Michigan to Iowa. He is now on the Nebraska football roster. Now, a third notable player adds his name to the list in McNamara as he joins the Hawkeyes. 

McNamara Transfers to Iowa

As a recruit, McNamara was a four-star quarterback who possessed great intangibles and accuracy during high school. His 6’-1” stature held him back a little from the elite prospects, but he was still heavily recruited nationally. McNamara is a native of Reno, Nevada and attended Damonte Ranch High School. He was the top-ranked player in the state of Nevada at the time of his commitment. McNamara received offers from Notre Dame, Alabama, and Georgia before landing on Michigan. 

Landing one of the top quarterback targets in the transfer portal is not only impactful for the quarterback room, but it could also very well lead to future additions to the offense for the 2023 season. There are a plethora of talented receivers in the portal that McNamara may help attract to Iowa City. The new Hawkeye may also be able to help retain Keagan Johnson. Iowa’s sophomore wide receiver entered the transfer portal after the final game of the regular season. 

The Hawkeye offense ranked near the bottom in nearly every offensive category in 2022. The new face at quarterback is not a sure fix for the team’s recent struggles, but he provides a substantial talent upgrade at the offense’s most important position. He has slightly more than two seasons of starting quarterback experience in the Big Ten as he now becomes the face of the Hawkeye offense. McNamara is listed as a grad student. But with the 2020 Covid exemption, he has two years of eligibility left. Because he is a grad student, he did not have to wait for the transfer portal to open on December 5th. 

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