After going 15-0 and winning the National Championship this past season, J.J. McCarthy will be forever remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks — if not the greatest — in the history of the Michigan Wolverines’ football program.
That’s why it is bittersweet to see him leave with one year of eligibility remaining, as McCarthy has officially declared for the 2024 NFL Draft, he announced on Sunday.
McCarthy is a Michigan legend for so many reasons. He has only lost one game as a starter at Michigan — the 2022 Fiesta Bowl in the College Football Playoff against TCU — and has been a loyal teammate, consummate professional, and great team leader, despite not being named a captain during his time in Ann Arbor.
What also makes McCarthy a legend at Michigan is something he did before he even stepped foot on campus as a student-athlete. After the 2020 Wisconsin game, which ended in a 49-11 blowout loss, McCarthy — as a committed player — sent a simple message out on social media assuring Michigan fans things were going to change.
I want all Michigan fans to do this. Take 3 deep breaths... And have faith. Faith that every single Coach, player, employee in that building is doing everything they possibly can to be great.— J.J. McCarthy (@jjmccarthy09) November 15, 2020
That resulted in three straight wins over Ohio State, three straight Big Ten championships, three straight trips to the College Football Playoff, a Rose Bowl win over Alabama — subsequently sending Nick Saban into retirement — and finally, a national championship.
Mission accomplished, Jonathan James.
This past year, McCarthy completed 240-of-332 passes (72.2 percent) for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also ran 64 times for 202 yards and three scores. His entire career as a Wolverine is also incredibly impressive — he completed 482-of-713 passes (67.6 percent) for 6,226 yards, 49 touchdowns and 11 interceptions; he also rushed for 632 yards and 10 touchdowns.
From a five-star high school prospect to the best quarterback in the history of Michigan football — according to his head coach at least — everyone here at Maize n Brew wishes McCarthy the very best of luck at the NFL level.