Big Ten championship winning quarterbacks don’t require propaganda. In the barracks of Kinnick Stadium, a Cade McNamara who can’t even participate at his fullest extent has made a strong impression. Just ask head coach Kirk Ferentz.
“I think they recognize if you’re good, you don’t have to advertise it typically,” Ferentz said. “Cade has a résumé. “He’s an assertive guy just by nature. He did that in a pretty short time. I think it’s all been pretty organic.”
Fans got their first look at Cade McNamara Saturday at Iowa’s annual open spring practice. The Hawkeyes new QB1 didn’t participate in 11-on-11 drills, but he did suit up and throw from the shotgun in 7-on-7. The impressions so far? Pretty good.
“I won’t speak for everybody on our team, but I think they’ve all really embraced him,” Ferentz added. “We’re all really glad he’s here. He clearly is our starter right now. It is not a debate. Real happy about him being there.”
Ferentz also mentioned McNamara was voted a team captain for the Hawkeye championship game. Fellow quarterbacks Deacon Hill and Joe Labas have already gained knowledge from their teammate. Labas is just a redshirt sophomore, and Deacon Hill transferred from Wisconsin. Both haven’t sniffed a Big Ten championship, and both are just soaking in what they can.
“I’ve just been picking his brain a lot, just with the experience that he has,” Joe Labas said. “The games that he’s played in in the past.”
“It’s just us three, and we’ll go through some film together and kind of walk us through kind of what you see,” Deacon Hill said. “Just learning from him he just brings an experience that you don’t normally get.”
McNamara is establishing a culture, brick by brick. He even makes a point of emphasis that the team breaks the huddle with a crisp clap in unison, to set the tone for the play. He appreciates the respect from his teammates, but it’s reciprocal.
“This entire time I’ve been trying to earn the respect of my teammates,” McNamara said. “I feel like I get a lot of respect from the guys because I truly respect them. And I’m not really trying to force anything. I’m just going to do everything I can to help this team win.”