Michigan's early enrollees are officially on campus and that includes quarterback JJ McCarthy. Michigan fans are hoping that the 6-3, 195-pounder can grab ahold of the starting spot and hold onto it for several seasons.
McCarthy is extremely accomplished and decorated as a prep player and brings a ton of moxie, confidence, winning ways and elite leadership skills with him to Ann Arbor. As a sophomore in 2018 at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park, Ill., McCarthy completed 182-of-240 passes (76%) for 3,448 yards with 39 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also scored two rushing touchdowns, which is a part of his game that often gets overlooked. He led Nazareth to a 7A state title that year. As a junior, he threw for 2,820 yards and 34 touchdowns. And then as a senior, at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., he went 92-of-165 passing (57%) for 1,392 yards and 16 touchdown passes and ZERO interceptions. He also added another rushing score. He led the Ascenders to an undefeated record and the mythical national title. McCarthy finished his high school career with just two losses against 36 wins while playing for a state title during all three seasons at Nazareth.
Now at Michigan, McCarthy is beyond excited to begin this chapter. Seemingly as soon as he stepped out of the car in Ann Arbor, he started posting to his social media accounts showing just how ready he is to pursue greatness at U-M.
McCarthy will wear No. 9 (at least to start out) at Michigan and is already close with his weapons who signed with him. Wide receivers like Cristian Dixon and Andrel Anthony, along with running back Donovan Edwards, have all expressed how excited they are to play with a skilled winner like McCarthy.
We've outlined reasons why McCarthy might or might not start, but now it's all up to him. There isn't a clear leader at the position in front of him, so he'll have as much of a chance as anyone to grab ahold of the position and run with it in 2021.