College Football
Michigan's QB battle among many in Big Ten that will ramp up this fall
College Football

Michigan's QB battle among many in Big Ten that will ramp up this fall

Published Apr. 25, 2024 12:18 p.m. ET

Quarterback discussions always dominate spring football, never more than this year in the Big Ten with transfers coming and going and only a handful of starters returning.

Just four of the 14 teams — and two of the four from the Pac-12 that join the conference in August — appear set at the position.

Defending national champion Michigan will go into preseason practice with a three-man competition to replace J.J. McCarthy. Alex Orji and Davis Warren were the starters in the spring game last Saturday. Jack Tuttle, granted a seventh year of eligibility, missed the spring while recovering from an injury.

"He’ll be in it," first-year coach Sherrone Moore said. "We talked about this as a team, as a staff — the dudes that he backed up are Michael Penix (at Indiana) and J.J. McCarthy, so he’s got talent and we’ll see what happens when he gets in fall camp."


Kansas State transfer Will Howard and Devin Brown are the front-runners to take over at Ohio State for Kyle McCord, who transferred to Syracuse.

Iowa and Northwestern face major challenges. The Hawkeyes' Cade McNamara continues to recover from a knee injury and was extremely limited in the spring, and the man who replaced him in October, Deacon Hill, entered the transfer portal Monday. The Wildcats also took a hit when 2023 starter Brendan Sullivan entered the portal on the same day.

At Michigan State, the assumption was that Aidan Chiles would be the guy when he transferred from Oregon State, the previous stop for first-year Spartans coach Jonathan Smith. But North Dakota transfer Tommy Schuster was sharp in the spring game and is making a push.

Maryland will decide between North Carolina State transfer MJ Morris and Billy Edwards Jr., who was the backup to the prolific Taulia Tagovailoa. Rutgers' battle is between 2023 starter Gavin Wimsatt and Minnesota transfer Athan Kaliakmanis, who played for offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca when Ciarrocca held the same job with the Gophers.

Tyler Van Dyke, who started 28 games for Miami (Fla.), and Braedyn Locke are dueling at Wisconsin. At Indiana, first-year coach Curt Cignetti will decide between Ohio transfer Kurtis Rourke and Tayven Jackson.

Nebraska coach Matt Rhule said he won't name a starter until the fall, but it would be a major surprise if it's not five-star freshman Dylan Raiola. He was the top national recruit among quarterbacks and has had a solid spring. Heinrich Haarberg is back, but the Cornhuskers put up the program's worst offensive numbers since the 1960s under his direction.

Illinois (Luke Altmyer), Minnesota (New Hampshire transfer Max Brosmer), Penn State (Drew Allar) and Purdue (Hudson Card) have their quarterback situations settled.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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