Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh live updates: Why 2-QB problem is a good thing
Michigan football’s opening game is fast approaching, which means head coach Jim Harbaugh will be making his weekly appearances with reporters and media.
Harbaugh will speak at noon Monday and the Wolverines begin the season Saturday at home vs. Colorado State. U-M is coming off a 12-2 season while CSU went 3-9 in 2021. Michigan had a strong year but has last five straight bowl games, including the 2022 Orange Bowl to Georgia in the College Football Playoff.
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Harbaugh has already stated that incumbent starting quarterback Cade McNamara will start vs. the Rams with tantalizing sophomore J.J. McCarthy slated for the Week 2 start vs. Hawaii.
Michigan begins the season ranked No. 6 by the USA TODAY coaches poll and No. 8 in the AP poll. Follow along below for more from Harbaugh’s question-answer session with reporters:
Michigan football freshman DT soars up depth chart
ANN ARBOR – Michigan freshman defensive tackle Mason Graham turned some heads during spring practices.
The former four-star prospect from Anaheim (Calif.) Servite opened even more eyes during fall camp. In a surprising move Saturday, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh announced a team depth chart on the “In The Trenches” podcast, and Graham finds himself at the top in the Wolverines’ base defense.
“He wasn’t a starter going in,” Harbaugh said Monday of Graham entering fall camp. “Really, Kris Jenkins was the starting defensive tackle going into fall camp. Now, Kris Jenkins is the starting end, so he moved from tackle to end. So, in the base package, based on a base front, we think right now that’s who our starters are.”
The 6-foot-3, 317-pound Graham was one of 12 early enrollees in the spring and quickly got acclimated with Michigan’s defense. With the team losing starter Christopher Hinton and veteran Donovan Jeter from 2021, it needs others to step up inside this season. Graham seized the opportunity.
“Mason, from the day he got here, has been a very solid player,” Harbaugh said. “You saw in the spring game, he was highly drafted in that spring game, and he played very well. He’s played good, he’s earned it and can count on him for a lot of snaps in this first game.”
The Wolverines have a new defensive coordinator in Jesse Minter, but they are expected to run a similar scheme to last year, when Mike Macdonald frequently mixed up fronts and personnel to keep offenses guessing.
Others like Cam Goode, a graduate transfer from UCF, and redshirt freshman Rayshaun Benny will continue to vie for playing time at tackle, but Graham appears to have the edge early on.
“Mason is gonna be a really good ballplayer,” Michigan starting right guard Zak Zinter said Monday. “Even in spring ball, we could see he was gonna be really good. He really brought it this camp and had a really good camp so far. I’m excited to see what he can do.”