Michigan QB commit Cade McNamara reflects on The Opening Finals

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Michigan QB commit Cade McNamara reflects on The Opening Finals

Football

Michigan QB commit Cade McNamara reflects on The Opening Finals


Cade McNamara finished No. 6 in the Elite 11 rankings after his performance at The Opening Finals.


Michigan QB commit Cade McNamara reflects on The Opening Finals

Cade McNamara was 1-of-12 quarterbacks to participate in Frisco, Texas.

From June 30 to July 5, Reno (Nev.) Damonte Ranch 2019 four-star pro-style quarterback Cade McNamara was not in his hometown of 245,255 residents.

Instead, he was at The Opening Finals in Frisco, Texas.

“Going into my first day, I got there at about 6:30 a.m,” McNamara explained. “There wasn’t a lot going on other than offensive skill players, so it was quarterbacks, tight ends and receivers. The big boys and the rest of the defense showed up the next day. We really just had a lot of routes to find out about our receivers and get close with our team.

“The first day was really laid back, but the second day we really got it going. We woke up early, had a practice and then had opening ceremonies that night.”

During the 7-on-7 event, McNamara had the second-lowest completion percentage of the quarterbacks. He converted 34-of-59 passes (57.6 percent).

“We had a jamboree, which is when all the 7-on-7 teams get together and play a giant scrimmage for seeding,” he explained. “We finished first in the jamboree and were supposed to play two games that night, but we got a bye. We ended up losing our one game that night, so it was lose or go home in the rest of the event. Our team went into double overtime in the next day’s game and we lost, so our weekend ended short.”

McNamara said his low completion percentage was due to his struggles in the first game of the jamboree. He finished the 7-on-7 competition with seven touchdowns and two interceptions.

“Personally, I thought I did good,” he stated. “During the jamboree, I had one bad game, but I felt like I responded very well after that really bad game. I had a good night and played in the first half of the last game and played really well.

“Overall, I thought I had a really good performance.”

Making the Elite 11 was McNamara’s childhood dream. However, he called getting to The Opening Finals “the cherry on top.” He said the event in Texas was physically, mentally and emotionally challenging.

“My dream was fulfilled,” McNamara exclaimed. “They tried to put us in as many difficult situations to see how we would respond. I’m sure all the other quarterbacks would agree it was tough. We had to be mentally strong to get through.

“The Opening Finals was to see how we would react with new teammates and build relationships we will keep when we play each other in college.”

More than football, McNamara’s heart was hit by a Brenda Tracy, a speaker at The Opening Finals. Tracy was gang-raped by four men in 1998, of which two played college football for Oregon State.

McNamara was in shock.

“With the speakers we had and the facilities, it was a great experience,” McNamara said. “To hear the influence we have as athletes and to hear (Brenda’s) story touched base with me a lot.”

During his time at The Opening Finals, McNamara had the chance to get to know two of Michigan’s newest commits – Memphis (Tenn.) Lausanne Collegiate 2019 four-star all-purpose back Eric Gray and Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett 2019 three-star cornerback DJ Turner II.

“It was great to get to see DJ and Eric because I got to know the guys I have a group chat with,” the four-star quarterback said. “We talk all the time and it’s like an automatic bond where we don’t even have to say a word. We know that we all want the same thing in college.

“We have that chemistry already, so it’s really good to get to know them and are settled in on Michigan.”

McNamara’s next goal is to make it to Michigan’s annual BBQ at the Big House, which takes place on July 28. Multiple Michigan commits will be in attendance.

“I’m going to try to make the barbecue,” he said. “That’s a goal for me to set up. I’m also going to go to about two games this year at least.”

Throughout his three-year high school career, McNamara has completed 593 of 1,042 passes for 9,089 yards, 107 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.

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