Top 10 Michigan Football Quarterbacks of All Time

Top 10 Michigan Football Quarterbacks of All Time. Do you agree with where we have J.J. McCarthy on this list?

Top 10 Michigan Football Quarterbacks of All Time

Michigan Football has a storied history with quarterbacks who have left a significant mark on the program. This list of the top 10 quarterbacks in Michigan's history highlights their impressive statistics and their substantial impact on the team. From legendary players like Tom Brady to the current star J.J. McCarthy, each has etched their name in Michigan lore.

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The Rankings

  1. Rick Leach (1975-1978)
    Leach, a versatile dual-threat quarterback, recorded 4,284 passing yards and 48 touchdowns, along with a longest pass of 83 yards. Leach won 3 Big Ten titles at Michigan and was a combined 7-2 in rivalry games.
  2. Benny Friedman (1925-1926)
    Friedman, an early innovator of the forward pass, threw 25 touchdown passes and was the first Michigan Football quarterback to be named an All-American. He was actually named as a first-team All-American twice.
  3. Elvis Grbac (1989-1992)
    Grbac's tenure was marked by 6,460 passing yards and 71 touchdowns, completing 522 of 835 attempts with a longest pass of 65 yards. Grbac was a part of 3 Big Ten Championship teams.
  4. J.J. McCarthy (2021-Present)
    McCarthy has thrown for 5,865 yards and 46 touchdowns, completing 455 of 668 attempts with a 68.1% completion rate. He has been a part of three Big Ten Championship teams and finished No.10 in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2023.
  5. Jim Harbaugh (1983-1986)
    Harbaugh threw for 5,449 yards and 31 touchdowns, completing 387 of 620 attempts, known for his fierce competitiveness and leadership. Harbaugh only won one Big Ten title but he was 6-2 in rivaly games.
  6. Chad Henne (2004-2007)
    Henne completed 828 of 1,387 attempts for a remarkable 9,715 yards and 87 touchdowns, setting multiple records at Michigan.
  7. Brian Griese (1994-1997)
    Griese led Michigan to a national championship in 1997, accumulating 4,383 passing yards and 33 touchdowns over his career.
  8. John Navarre (2000-2003)
    Navarre threw for 9,254 yards and 72 touchdowns, completing 765 of 1,366 attempts, known for his deep ball accuracy.
  9. Tom Brady (1996-1999)
    Brady completed 443 of his 711 attempts at Michigan, amassing 5,351 yards and 35 touchdowns, showcasing the early signs of his future NFL dominance.
  10. Denard Robinson (2009-2012)
    Known for his dynamic play, Robinson amassed 6,250 passing yards and 49 touchdowns, plus a longest pass of 77 yards.
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Bottom Line

The quarterbacks on this list represent the best of Michigan Football's rich history at the position. From the early days of Benny Friedman to the current era of J.J. McCarthy, each has demonstrated remarkable skill and leadership, making significant contributions to the legacy of the program. Their impressive statistics and memorable performances have set a high bar for future Wolverines quarterbacks.


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