(WXYZ) — Michigan will have a new starting quarterback the next time the team takes the field.
There's no leading candidate, according to offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. "They were all dead-even," he said.
The Wolverines are "nowhere near" having a frontrunner at quarterback, Gattis said Thursday in a conferene call with reporters. "They were all even going into this pandemic."
Gattis said it’s a three-man race, and isn’t based on last year’s depth chart. Dylan McCaffrey, Joe Milton, and Cade McNamara return, as Shea Patterson graduated.
"No one has a leg up," he added. "It's not based on depth chart last year."
Michigan OC Josh Gattis said there is no frontrunner for the team’s starting quarterback.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) May 14, 2020
He said it’s a three-man race, and isn’t based on last year’s depth chart.
Gattis said he's been impressed by the three quarterbacks' leadership, but would not talk about individual traits within each guy's skillset.
"I challenged all three of those guys." I met with them after practice, and said, 'We gotta start now.' We want a healthy quarterback competition."
Gattis said the list of backup quarterbacks in 2019 doesn't matter now.
"What the depth chart last year was - was irrelevant, because we had one quarterback who was our starter," he added.
The offense loses almost its entire starting offensive line, but Gattis pointed out the new group is perhaps more athletic and better equipped to help the run game succeed. He added the 2019 group was solid in pass protection.
As for 2019, Gattis said Michigan's offense was "scratching the surface to be something special last year."
The offense has been meeting in virtual situations. Gatis said he had never heard of Zoom until the pandemic hit. Michigan, like every NCAA team, lost the chance to hold spring football practices.
"We're waiting to see what this next schedule will look like," Gattis said. "We're kind of living in the unknown."
“We’re making the best of our situation. Obviously it’s tough for everybody in college football,” he said.