For JJ McCarthy, The Rivalry With Ohio State Is Personal

The highly-rated quarterback and newest member of the Michigan Football quarterback room grew up as a fan of the scarlet and gray.  Thanks to an unfortunate experience on the recruiting trail, he's now wearing the winged helmet.

Michigan Football’s highly rated quarterback commit actually grew up as a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. In fact, it looked like McCarthy was on his way to play college football in Columbus until the relationship soured.

According to McCarthy, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day had lied to him about the Buckeyes plans for recruiting a quarterback. In an interview with the Athletic, McCarthy indicated that he felt intentionally misled by Day - causing the highly-rated quarterback to have a drastic change of heart when it came to the scarlet and gray.

“I used to love them, now I want to kill them”, said McCarthy.Coach Day told me he wasn’t going to take a 2021 quarterback until the end of summer or anything like that because he wanted to make sure everything was all good, so I didn’t really worry about all that during my visit. But I didn’t get that feeling when I was there. I really didn’t, with all the coaches there and how they interacted with us, I didn’t feel the big family tradition part of it. It was either you’re good at football or you’re over here. That’s what I felt.”

McCarthy continued:

“I get it’s a business, but it always sucks being lied to. And that’s kind of where the rivalry started for me. And the hatred. But what are you going to do? It’s a business and they have to do what they have to do. They lied to my face, but it’s all good now."

It would eventually be another highly-rated quarterback - Kyle McCord - who would commit to the Buckeyes in April of 2019, ending the possibility that McCarthy would take his talents to Columbus.

McCarthy is now officially on campus in Ann Arbor and has a legitimate shot at becoming Michigan’s starting quarterback in 2021. With both Joe Milton and Cade McNamara failing to solidify the starting spot in 2020, McCarthy will have the opportunity to make his case during fall camp.

As far as the rivalry with Ohio State is concerned, there’s no question that McCarthy will bring some much needed juice to a once great rivalry in desperate need of revival. With Michigan failing to hold up its end of the bargain for the better part of two decades, it’s nice to have a quarterback in Ann Arbor who finally takes the rivalry personally.