J. J. McCarthy

American football player (born 2003)

6 ft 2+12 in (1.89 m)Weight202 lb (92 kg)Career historyCollege
  • Michigan (2021–2023)
Bowl games High school
  • Nazareth Academy (La Grange Park)
  • IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)
Career highlights and awards
  • Stats at ESPN.com

Jonathan James McCarthy (born January 20, 2003) is an American football quarterback. He played college football at the University of Michigan. McCarthy led the Michigan Wolverines to three consecutive Big Ten Conference titles, culminating in a national championship in 2023. He finished his career at Michigan with a 27-1 record (.964) as the starting quarterback, the third-best winning percentage by a quarterback in college football history.

Early life and high school

McCarthy was born on January 20, 2003, in La Grange Park, Illinois.[1] He attended Nazareth Academy for high school until transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, as a senior in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of Nazareth's football season.[2] In two seasons as the starting quarterback at Nazareth, he led his team to a 26-2 record with consecutive appearances in the IHSA Class 7A state championship game, winning the state title as a sophomore in 2018.[3] In his lone season at IMG Academy, he led his team to an 8-0 record and a consensus high school football national championship.[4]

McCarthy was a five-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, which aggregates the ratings of the major recruiting services.[5] At age 16, McCarthy said Ryan Day "lied to my face" by telling him in March that Ohio State would not take a quarterback in the 2021 recruiting class until the end of the summer, but then accepted a commitment from Kyle McCord in April. Despite growing up an Ohio State fan, McCarthy committed to rival Michigan the next month. Speaking about his new hatred of Ohio State, he said, "I used to love them. Now I want to kill them."[6][7][8]

McCarthy played hockey growing up and said that was actually his first love, not football. Around his freshman year of high school, he made the decision to give up hockey in order to focus on football. McCarthy called it "one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make."[9]

In eighth grade, he received a scholarship offer to play football at Iowa State from head coach Matt Campbell.[10][11][12]

College career

2021 season

Rated as one of the top quarterback recruits, McCarthy committed to play college football for the Wolverines at the University of Michigan in May 2019.[13][14][15]

On September 4, 2021, he made his Michigan debut against Western Michigan and completed four of six passes for 80 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown pass to Daylen Baldwin.[16][17]

He appeared in 11 games during the 2021 season, primarily as the backup quarterback, completing 34 of 59 passes for 516 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions.[18]

2022 season

Prior to the 2022 season, McCarthy competed with Cade McNamara for the role as Michigan's starting quarterback.[19] Before the opening game, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh announced that the competition was close and would continue at least for the first two games, with McNamara starting in the first week against Colorado State and McCarthy starting in the second week against Hawaii.[20]

McCarthy started and played most of the first half against Hawaii, completing 11 of 12 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns while leading the Wolverines to a 42–0 halftime lead.[21] In his postgame press conference, Harbaugh announced that McCarthy would start against UConn in week 3 and added, "He's the starter moving forward on merit."[22][23]

McCarthy continued as Michigan's starting quarterback, completing 15 of 18 passes against UConn for 214 yards, 18 of 26 passes against Maryland for 220 yards, and 18 of 24 passes against Iowa for 155 yards.[24][25][26] Against Indiana on October 8, he completed 28 of 36 passes for 304 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception (on a ball tipped up into the air in the end zone).[27]

McCarthy helped lead the Wolverines into an undefeated matchup with Ohio State on November 26. He passed for 263 yards and three passing touchdowns and recorded a rushing touchdown in the 45–23 victory.[28]

In the Fiesta Bowl, he completed 20 of 34 passes for a career-high 343 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns, in the 51–45 loss to TCU in the College Football Playoff Semifinals.[29]

For the 2022 season, he completed 208 of 322 passes for 2,719 yards, 22 touchdowns, five interceptions, and a 155.0 quarterback rating.[30]

McCarthy following Michigan's victory in the 2024 Rose Bowl

2023 season

On September 2, 2023, against East Carolina, McCarthy recorded his best career passing game at home (280 yards, three touchdowns). McCarthy's 86.7% completion percentage (26-for-30) ranked second-highest in program history, behind Elvis Grbac's 90.9% (20-for-22) against Notre Dame on September 14, 1991.[31]

On October 7, against Nebraska, he completed 12 of 16 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. With two passing touchdowns in the game, he tied Todd Collins for ninth-most in program history with 37 career touchdowns.[32] On November 4, against Purdue, he completed 24 of 37 passes for 335 yards. With 335 passing yards in the game, he passed Tom Brady for ninth on the program's all-time passing list.[33]

On November 25, in the win against Ohio State, he completed 16 of 20 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. With 148 passing yards in the game, he passed Shea Patterson for seventh on the program's all-time passing list.[34]

In the win against Iowa, in the Big Ten Championship Game, McCarthy became the fastest quarterback to reach 25 career wins in the 144-year history of Michigan football (26 starts). On January 1, 2024, against Alabama in the Rose Bowl, he completed 17 of 27 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns in a 27–20 overtime win, and was named Rose Bowl Offensive Player of the Game.[35][36]

On January 8, 2024, against Washington in the College Football Playoff National Championship, he completed 10 of 18 passes for 140 yards in a 34–13 win, leading Michigan to an undefeated 15-0 record and its first national championship title since 1997.[37][38]

McCarthy finished his career at Michigan with a 27-1 record (.964) as the starting quarterback, the third-best winning percentage by a quarterback in college football history.[39]

Statistics

Season Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2021 11 0 0−0 34 59 57.6 516 8.7 5 2 152.3 27 124 4.6 2
2022 14 13 12−1 208 322 64.6 2,719 8.4 22 5 155.0 70 306 4.4 5
2023 15 15 15–0 240 332 72.3 2,991 9.0 22 4 167.4 64 202 3.2 3
Career[40] 40 28 27−1 482 713 67.6 6,226 8.7 49 11 160.5 161 632 3.9 10

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill
6 ft 2+12 in
(1.89 m)
219 lb
(99 kg)
31+58 in
(0.80 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.23 s 6.82 s
All values from NFL Combine[41][42]

Personal life

McCarthy is a practitioner of meditation, which he began doing in high school.[2][43][44][45] McCarthy is engaged to high school sweetheart Katya Kuropas.[46]

References

  1. ^ "J.J. McCarthy". University of Michigan. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Bachman, Rachel (November 23, 2022). "Who's That Meditating Under the Goal Post? Michigan Quarterback J.J. McCarthy". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  3. ^ Johnson, Michael (January 4, 2024). "Former Chicago area prep teammates reconnecting to help lead Michigan to the brink of a college football championship". WGN-TV. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  4. ^ "J.J. McCarthy - Football". University of Michigan Athletics. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  5. ^ "J.J. McCarthy, IMG Academy , Quarterback". 247Sports. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  6. ^ Wasserman, Ari. "Why J.J. McCarthy hates Ohio State and how the future Michigan QB could change the rivalry". The Athletic. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  7. ^ Wasserman, Ari. "Wasserman: J.J. McCarthy, Kyle McCord and the costly decision Ryan Day got wrong". The Athletic. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  8. ^ "Once an Ohio State fan, an experienced J.J. McCarthy hoping to outduel friend Kyle McCord". WolverinesWire. November 21, 2023. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  9. ^ "How did Michigan football's J.J McCarthy get so tough? He's a hockey player". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  10. ^ "JJ McCarthy". Twitter. June 10, 2017.
  11. ^ Peterson, Randy. "Peterson: Iowa State's eighth-grade scholarship offer isn't so uncommon". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  12. ^ "CycloneReport - More with frosh-to-be QB on Iowa State offer". iowastate.rivals.com. June 12, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  13. ^ Broome, Anthony (May 11, 2020). "What five-star QB J.J. McCarthy brings to Michigan after officially signing". Maize n Brew. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  14. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. (December 16, 2020). "Cornerstone recruits J.J. McCarthy, Donovan Edwards make it a banner day for Michigan". The Detroit News. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  15. ^ Lesmerises, Doug (June 24, 2021). "Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy has said he wants to stick it to Ohio State -- will he? Buckeyes best opponents, No. 28". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  16. ^ Lyons, Dan (September 4, 2021). "Watch: Insane Throw Made By Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  17. ^ Zuke, Ryan (September 4, 2021). "Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy gets creative on first TD pass: 'I'm not gonna coach that out of him'". Mlive.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  18. ^ "J.J. McCarthy 2021 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  19. ^ Zuke, Ryan (August 29, 2022). "Michigan QB battle: Will J.J. McCarthy vs. Cade McNamara competition extend deep into season?". mlive.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  20. ^ Meek, Austin (August 27, 2022). "Michigan's McNamara to start Week 1, McCarthy Week 2". The Athletic. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  21. ^ "J.J. McCarthy becomes QB1, No. 4 Michigan tops Hawaii 56-10". ESPN.com. Associated Press. September 10, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  22. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (September 10, 2022). "Michigan Wolverines sticking with QB J.J. McCarthy vs. UConn Huskies, likely moving forward". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  23. ^ Sabin, Rainer (September 11, 2022). "As Jim Harbaugh sees it, the future of Michigan football is J.J. McCarthy". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  24. ^ "Connecticut at Michigan Box Score, September 17, 2022". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  25. ^ "Maryland at Michigan Box Score, September 24, 2022". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  26. ^ "Michigan at Iowa Box Score, October 1, 2022". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  27. ^ "No. 4 Michigan rallies without Hart to pull away at Indiana". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 8, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  28. ^ "Michigan at Ohio State Box Score, November 26, 2022". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  29. ^ "Fiesta Bowl - Texas Christian vs Michigan Box Score, December 31, 2022". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  30. ^ "J.J. McCarthy 2022 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  31. ^ "Postgame Notes: #2 Michigan 30, East Carolina 3". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. September 2, 2023. Retrieved September 2, 2023.
  32. ^ "Postgame Notes: #2 Michigan 45, Nebraska 7". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. September 30, 2023. Retrieved September 30, 2023.
  33. ^ "Postgame Notes: #2 Michigan 41, Purdue 13". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. November 4, 2023. Retrieved November 4, 2023.
  34. ^ "Postgame Notes: #3 Michigan 30, #2 Ohio State 24". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. November 25, 2023. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  35. ^ "Michigan 27-20 Alabama (Jan 1, 2024) Final Score". ESPN. Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  36. ^ "Michigan defeats Alabama in Rose Bowl OT thriller to advance to national championship". Las Angeles Times. January 2, 2024. Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  37. ^ "Michigan 34-13 Washington (Jan 8, 2024) Game Recap". ESPN. Retrieved January 10, 2024.
  38. ^ Athletic, The (January 9, 2024). "Washington-Michigan live updates". The Athletic. Retrieved January 10, 2024.
  39. ^ "J.J. McCarthy entering NFL draft, skipping senior season after leading Michigan to national title". AP News.
  40. ^ "J.J. McCarthy College Stats, School, Draft, Gamelog, Splits". College Football @ Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 28, 2023.
  41. ^ "J.J. McCarthy Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved March 9, 2024.
  42. ^ "2024 NFL Draft Scout J.J. McCarthy College Football Profile". DraftScout.com. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  43. ^ "J.J. McCarthy's meditation routine helps him clear mind to lead No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 2 Ohio State". AP News. November 21, 2023. Retrieved November 28, 2023.
  44. ^ Skol, Mark (January 7, 2024). "Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy leans on meditation to battle depression". wthr.com. Retrieved January 9, 2024.
  45. ^ "How J.J. McCarthy's pregame ritual will help Michigan QB prepare to face Alabama". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 9, 2024.
  46. ^ "Michigan Quarterback J.J. McCarthy Is Engaged to High School Sweetheart Katya Kuropas!". Peoplemag. Retrieved February 14, 2024.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to J. J. McCarthy (American football).
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