J.J. McCarthy Helped Michigan Land Xaxier Worthy

Eric Rutter

Last week, Michigan was able to pick up a commitment from one of its most sought after targets when Fresno (Calif.) Central East four-star wide receiver Xavier Worthy announced in favor of the Wolverines on Friday afternoon.

Worthy, who is listed at 6-1 and 164 pounds, is noted as one of the quickest rising seniors in all of high school football. With blistering 100 meter dash times that would make Worthy for Michigan's track and field team, the Wolverines will have one of the fastest skill position players in all of college football for the 2021 season.

Before committing, Worthy was hearing from several important people throughout the Michigan program. Michigan coaches, such as Jim Harbaugh and Josh Gattis, were active in his recruitment, as were current players like Giles Jackson and even other 2021 commits with J.J. McCarthy consistently staying on the four-star receiver.

All of that hard work helped Worthy feel comfortable with his future team, and he made the decision to pick U-M, giving Michigan 20 total pledges so far.

“It was pretty to sell Michigan because if you love football and value education, why wouldn't Michigan be a huge consideration for you,” McCarthy asked Wolverine Digest.

Throughout Michigan's pursuit of Worthy, McCarthy had a chance to throw on the dynamic wideout's tape, and he was left with one clear impression of his film: “straight speed.”

McCarthy, who plans to enroll early at Michigan, will have that speed at his disposal in a little over a year. But along with Worthy's ability to scoot on the field, Michigan has two other receivers that pose different strengths and attributes, prospects that Michigan was very selective about identifying during the recruiting process.

“Talking with Gattis while we were recruiting all these receivers, he was very particular on what he wanted,” McCarthy said. “He definitely got the wide outs he wants for the system.”

Clayton (Ohio) Northmont three-star Markus Allen stands at 6-3 and 205 pounds, so his game is quite different. Allen is a bit more of a possession receiver that will be dependable when looking to pick up first downs. His physical stature helps create mismatches with smaller cornerbacks, and his talent should really shine in the red zone. Worthy could help Michigan make it to the red zone, and Allen can help finish the job from there.

After Allen committed, Michigan's next wideout pledge came from Santa Ana (Calif.) Matre Dei four-star Cristian Dixon, who is a prospect that is a blend of both Worthy and Allen's skills. While not a true burner, Dixon has the speed to beat defensive backs in one-on-one situations, and he also has the strength to pull down contested passes. His mental strength is one area where he shines, and Dixon is arguably the most competitive of the bunch.

Together, this trio of receivers will form the latest receiving weapons for Gattis' speed-in-space project next season. As the 2019 season went on, Gattis experienced an increasing level of success when implementing his system, and he is expected to continue that pattern as more players that he's recruited enter the program.

For Worthy, a decent comparison to his playing style might be that of K.J. Hamler. While at Penn State, Hamler worked mainly from the slot and proceeded to torch secondaries on a repeated basis. His long distance speed was viscerally evident when he faced Michigan, and he showed his game breaking ability in the return game as well. Though Worthy is quite a few inches taller, the two play a similar brand of football, and Worthy could have a comparable impact for the Wolverines.

What do you think of Michigan's latest wide receiver pick up? Are you excited for Michigan's future pass catchers? Should they aggressively pursue Jayden Thomas to round out the group? Let us know! 

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