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After starting five of six games for Michigan in 2020, senior quarterback Joe Milton is transferring.

“I want to thank Coach (Jim) Harbaugh for giving me that opportunity to come play for a program with lots of tradition,” Milton tweeted Thursday. “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.”

For the former four-star recruit, the decision to enter the transfer portal caps off a turbulent three years in Ann Arbor. Milton was the third-string quarterback for two seasons behind Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey. When Patterson graduated after the 2019 season, though, Milton beat out McCaffrey to win the starting job.

Despite having thrown just 11 passes in his first two seasons, Milton winning the starting job sparked optimism that he had harnessed his natural talent and arm strength. And in the first game of the season, that talent shown through, as Milton guided Michigan to a 49-24 win over Minnesota.

After the opener, though, he struggled with accuracy and decision-making, finishing the season with a 56.7 completion percentage, 1,077 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Down 17-0 in the second quarter against Rutgers in the Wolverines’ fifth game of the season, Milton was benched for then-sophomore Cade McNamara. After the season, Milton was spotted wearing a cast on his throwing hand.

His decision to transfer leaves McNamara to vie for the starting spot at quarterback with incoming freshman five-star J.J. McCarthy. McCarthy is the Wolverines’ first five-star quarterback commit out of high school since Ryan Mallett in 2007.

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