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JJ McCarthy Makes PFF's Top-Five Offensive True Freshman List

He hasn't see much action in 2021, but he's done enough to show the college football world that his time is coming.

The highly anticipated arrival of JJ McCarthy to Ann Arbor led many to believe that it was only a matter of time before the young gunslinger took over the starting job. Although it still seems likely that it will happen sooner rather than later, McCarthy has spent most of the 2021 season relieving junior quarterback Cade McNamara for a play or two each Saturday. 

His reps may be limited but the talent certainly isn't. The hype train for McCarthy went full steam ahead following the week one contest in Ann Arbor against Western Michigan. I could describe the play to you, but it's better that you just relive it for yourself.

It was a 69-yard, ill-advised, risky yet bold move that only a true baller could pull off - and McCarthy did it with ease. The reaction on social media after the play even had some at the pro level amazed at the pure talent from the true freshman.

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Throughout the year and in some of the most difficult circumstances, McCarthy has showcased his arm strength, speed and athleticism in a myriad of ways. As a result, Pro Football Focus recently listed McCarthy as the No. 4 highest-graded true freshman Power Five offensive player. You can see the full list below.

With just two games left in the 2021 regular season, Michigan fans shouldn't expect to see too much of the true freshman QB from here on out - particularly with how well McNamara has performed through ten weeks. In fact, McNamara's success - coupled with his two remaining years of eligibility - had led some to question what the future of the quarterback position at the University of MIchigan looks like? After all, five-star quarterbacks like McCarthy typically aren't in the business of sitting for two years - especially in today's college football.

Interestingly enough, head coach Jim Harbaugh was recently asked about that very thing during a recent press conference and gave a surprisingly honest assessment.

"As far as long-term, who’s going to be, that prediction, everyone rents [the quarterback] position," said Harbaugh. "Nobody owns the position — any position on the field. Not even the head coach. You lease, at best.”