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Jim Harbaugh evaluates how J.J. McCarthy’s ‘on fire’ and making ‘NFL caliber throws’

Harbaugh gives well deserved props to McCarthy for his superior play this season.

UNLV v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

J.J. McCarthy came to Michigan as a five-star quarterback who could blossom into one of the finest playmakers to ever play for the Wolverines. Now in his third season, McCarthy’s career is living up to those high expectations.

On Monday, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh evaluated McCarthy’s play through the first two weeks of the season.

“So explosive in the passing game. J.J. is phenomenal,” Harbaugh said. “So on fire. So on point. The throws that he is making from the pocket. Doing severe damage when he leaves the pocket. Keeps his eyes downfield. Getting big chunk plays and yardage. The receivers, the explosive plays, plus-15’s, are just huge.”

McCarthy’s done it all this season, and he’s made it look effortless. He has confidence and calm to his game and the poise of a veteran. Through Michigan’s first two games McCarthy is 48-of-55 for 558 yards with five passing touchdowns. McCarthy’s been accurate on short, intermediate, and deep throws. Pinpoint accuracy has been there to every quadrant of the gridiron.

Harbaugh knows McCarthy has NFL talent, which is why he continues to refer to him as a generational talent at quarterback for the Wolverines.

“They are NFL caliber throws into tight windows. The accuracy is off the charts,” Harbaugh explained. “He’s putting balls six inches in front of the number. Even the throws that are covering 30-40 yards, they’re right on the number. A real runner's ball where the receiver can catch and run like you saw on the 47-yarder to Roman Wilson.”

Watch all 48 of McCarthy’s completions in the video below.

McCarthy looks more comfortable than ever in the pocket with a noticeable improvement in stature and footwork. And his ability to throw strikes on the run is as good as it gets in college football this season and is what separates him from most of his peers. Some quarterbacks can throw well from within the pocket, some can excel throwing on the run. Not many can to both. McCarthy can.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, McCarthy currently has the fifth-best Heisman Trophy odds at +1600. If McCarthy continues to produce at the clip he has thus far, he could be a finalist for the award in December.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.