ESPN weighs in with Michigan football starting QB prediction

Michigan football will have a new starting quarterback in 2024 and ESPN offers its prediction.

Michigan quarterback Alex Orji (10) next to quarterback Jayden Denegal (4) practice during open
Michigan quarterback Alex Orji (10) next to quarterback Jayden Denegal (4) practice during open / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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One of the biggest question marks facing Michigan football heading into the 2024 season is who will be the starting quarterback.

There are plenty of candidates. With Jack Tuttle getting another year of eligibility, he's in the mix along with Jayden Denegal, Alex Orji, Davis Warren, and incoming freshman Jadyn Davis.

I would be surprised if Davis ended up as the starter. He was a top-100 recruit but probably needs a year of seasoning, which J.J. McCarthy got. Jayden Denegal and Alex Orji, who each signed as part of the 2022 class, have also gotten limited game reps, although Orji was utilized down the stretch as a runner in each of the last four games.

Regardless of who the starting quarterback is, Alex Orji should be used in that same role. Michigan football coaches have said he can throw the ball, so adding a few play fakes on the QB sweep stuff would be ideal, plus he and Donovan Edwards in the zone read sounds like a real problem for defenses.

If Orji can be effective throwing the ball, he might be the best option. The offensive line is going to be good -- so are the backs and with Orji, the running game could be even more productive in 2024 than it was in 2023, at least in terms of yards.

Denegal is a better thrower than runner, but he took a big step forward last offseason and if one of these guys is going to be the starting quarterback for Michigan football, they will need to take another big step forward.

However, ESPN doesn't see that happening. Adam Rittenberg predicted that the Wolverines will seek a quarterback in the transfer portal, which is possible. I'm not sure it's necessary and as of right now, there isn't a clear upgrade out there.

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That will probably change in April, but it's not guaranteed and that's why I still believe there's a good chance next year's starter is on the roster.