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Sophomore Michigan Football Quarterback Turning Heads

This sophomore Michigan football quarterback could be the Wolverines’ next QB.



Michigan football, Alex Orji, quarterback, JJ McCarthy, Kris Jenkins
Nov 25, 2023; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan quarterback Alex Orji runs past Ohio State linebacker Tommy Eichenberg (35) during the second half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Mandatory Credit: Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be the starting Michigan football quarterback after JJ McCarthy leaves, perhaps as soon as next season? Well, that remains to be seen, but right now, we think that sophomore QB Alex Orji may have a solid chance. Yesterday, we heard from Michigan defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, a team captain and standout defender for the Wolverines, who gave more praise to Orji, further adding to the growing hype surrounding No. 10.

Is this the next Michigan football quarterback after JJ McCarthy?

Michigan football has put Alex Orji in the game a number of times this fall, though the Wolverines are yet to truly let him air the ball out; usually, Orji is only in the game for a run play, as seen against Ohio State, Michigan State, and others throughout the year.

In fact, Orji is athletic enough that, due to the deep and talented Michigan football quarterback room this fall, the coaching staff has been talking about a position change throughout the year, with Jim Harbaugh even stating that Orji could be returning kicks and punts. That said, it appears that Alex Orji wants to try his hand at quarterback, and coaches such as Kirk Campbell (QBs) have been reporting that notable strides are being made in his developement.

Kris Jenkins expecting big things from Alex Orji

On Monday, Kris Jenkins was asked about Orji, who has become a major piece of Michigan’s prep for Alabama in the Rose Bowl, seeing as he is a good prototype for Bama quarterback Jalen Milroe, a prolific scrambler, and a solid passer. When prompted, Jenkins had seemingly endless praise for the Michigan football sophomore.

“He’s a freak of nature,” he said. “You just see how much effort he puts in the weight room. You see how jacked he is, how athletic he is. He’s really like a freak of nature. Every single day, he comes in with that mindset of being the best player, the best version of himself he can be. You see that every single day. So complete props to him. He’s an athlete, and he’s going to continue to do great things from this point forward.”

JJ McCarthy has also not made an NFL decision yet, so there is always a chance that he will come back for the 2024 season — that decision may hinge on Michigan’s CFP performance. That said, assuming McCarthy is done after 2023, it sounds like Alex Orji will get his shot at being next year’s Michigan football quarterback.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.