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Michigan quarterback Joe Milton enters NCAA transfer portal

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Michigan quarterback Joe Milton, who started five games last season, has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

Milton, a graduate transfer who will be able to play immediately this fall, made it official on Thursday.

Michigan quarterback Joe Milton has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

“I want to thank Coach Harbaugh for giving me that opportunity to come play for a program with lots of tradition,” Milton wrote on Twitter. “I have bonds with my brothers that will last forever, I have decided to enter the transfer portal As a Grad transfer with three years of eligibility.

Michigan opens spring practice on Monday, and Milton’s decision makes Michigan’s quarterback room less crowded. Cade McNamara, who made his first career start against Penn State, the Wolverines’ final game during a 2-4 season last fall, returns and will compete with five-star freshman J.J. McCarthy, an early enrollee. Dylan McCaffrey, who had been back up to Shea Patterson in 2018 and 2019, opted out before last season and has transferred to Northern Colorado. Dan Villari, a three-star recruit in the 2020 class, is the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster. 

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The 6-foot-5, 243-pound Milton is known for his cannon arm. He was 80-of-141 for 1,077 yards last season and had four touchdowns to four interceptions. Milton had offseason surgery on his right thumb and was seen on an Instagram video in January wearing a cast.

In the Week 3 game at Indiana, Milton was seen wearing a protective wrap on the hand and thumb and in every subsequent game.

McNamara started against Penn State a week after coming and in and leading a comeback victory at Rutgers. McNamara, who suffered an undisclosed shoulder injury against Penn State, was 43-of-71 for 425 yards last season and had five touchdowns and did not throw an interception.

In an offseason shakeup of Michigan’s coaching staff, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, a former Michigan and NFL quarterback, will work with the quarterbacks this season.

Michigan has had nine players enter their names in the NCAA transfer portal since the end of last season, including three in the past week. Linebackers Ben VanSumeren and Adam Shibley also entered their names.

achengelis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @chengelis