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All the quotes: Harbaugh, McCarthy, Corum, Johnson

Everything that was said at the post-game press conference.

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines are national champions after defeating the Washington Huskies 34-13 on Monday night.

After the game Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, quarterback J.J. McCarthy, running back Blake Corum, and cornerback Will Johnson spoke to the media. Here’s everything they had to say.

JIM HARBAUGH: Glorious win, I could not be prouder or happier of our team, 15-0. Took on all comers. Last one standing. It’s a great feeling.

And just so happy for our players, our parents, grandparents, our coaches, Sherrone Moore, Jesse Minter, Jay Harbaugh, the coordinators, the coaches, the staff. We just couldn’t have had a better staff. Jesse Minter, A plus plus the whole way.

For me personally, I can now sit at the big person’s table in the family. They won’t keep me over there on the little table anymore. My dad, Jack Harbaugh, won a national championship and my brother won a Super Bowl. It’s good to be at the big person’s table from now on.

Q. You two are a part of a university that’s a very prestigious academic university. What has the university done to support you guys both on and off the field? And how does it help shape the individual that’s on the stage today as a national champion.

BLAKE CORUM: This is the best university in the world. I’m so blessed to have a degree from the university. You can’t fail there. You have so much support. So much help.

We have the academic center. We can get tutors when we want and the professors are good. You can’t fail. And they make sure of that and that degree, that degree from the University of Michigan will set you up for the next 40 years.

I’m so glad I chose and these guys chose — I know I can speak for them because I know they’re glad as well — but we chose the University of Michigan. It’s such a prestigious school, as you said.

JIM HARBAUGH: I’m really glad you chose Michigan, too.

BLAKE CORUM: This is another reason why I came, by the way.

J.J. MCCARTHY: I would just say Coach Harbaugh hit on it last night. It takes a lot more than just being a football player to be a Michigan man. Everything that — the rigorous school schedule, the rigorous football schedule, it just forges us into these Michigan men. Couldn’t be in a better spot. Like Blake said, greatest university in the world.

Q. J.J., can you talk about the ebb and flow of this game? Early on felt like you guys ran out to a lead and then it slowed down. And particularly when it all kind of came together on that third-down play where you ended up having to scramble — I don’t know if that was a called play or not — and how that turned, what you were thinking on that play, et cetera?

J.J. MCCARTHY: We started off really hot. Everything was clicking. But I feel like we got to points in the game where we were beating ourselves. I was missing throws. I was missing some reads. And it just comes down to moving on to the next play, flushing the last play, and just staying in the present moment and just trying to attack one play at a time.

The third-down run, I just saw it on film all week that they were going to give me an opportunity at some point. Being backed up like that, you don’t want to be sitting back in the end zone for too long. And I just saw the crease, the offensive line did a great job of making sure they didn’t shed those blocks, and the rest is history.

Q. Blake, we’ll start with you, it seemed like in all the big moments this season, the leaders, the captains, the star players always stepped up. Can you just talk about what that felt like or when you knew that the team needed you to make a big play, especially in today’s game?

BLAKE CORUM: Playmakers, you know, coaches always say, playmakers have to make plays. And don’t wait on anyone else to make a play. But today was a complete, complete team effort. There’s so many people making plays out there.

And when we needed a play, someone made it, whether it had been myself or whether it had been Will or J.J. or Donovan, Colston. I could keep going on just because so many guys made plays. But when the play needs to be made, playmakers make them. And we have a lot of them.

WILL JOHNSON: Like Blake said, in these type of games, big time players make big time plays. I just give all the credit to our coaches and all the people that helped us prepare for these games. That’s just what it is. We prepare for it, so we were ready for the moment.

J.J. MCCARTHY: It doesn’t happen unless all 11 are clicking. The players, they really can’t make the plays unless everyone’s on the same page. So all credit goes to everybody out there on the field and the coaches.

Q. J.J. and Blake, obviously last year you were standing on the sidelines in the Fiesta Bowl as the confetti came down. How far have you come from that moment, and how much have you learned from your last two runs in the playoffs to kind of help get to you this point?

J.J. MCCARTHY: I’d say we came a long way, but in order to accomplish things like this, you’ve got to go to those dark places where everything’s not great.

And just the response, the urgency right after that last game last year, it was different. I knew it. Just from being on the podium last year and saying we would be back. I knew the guys that were coming back. I had this feeling that it was going to be where we are right now.

And just all credit goes to the players on this team, everybody in that facility, Coach Harbaugh. That man, he’s the reason we’re here today. So just all thanks to him and to everybody on the team.

BLAKE CORUM: For me, when we all decided to come back, we knew what it took to get here, right? And when we all said we were coming back, and the guys that had no other choice but to come back, we had to pay attention to details. And our strength coach actually hit on it last night when he was talking to us.

But it’s the little things, the details and the details we really locked in on those details all the way back to winter workouts, summer workouts, we were trying to execute at a high level and pay attention to detail. I think that’s what separated us a lot.

Q. You could go 15-0, run the table, easily win every game, you’d be elated right now no matter what happened. I’m trying to ask you, this was not a season where everything went the way you wanted it to. There was the off-the-field issues which we all know about. Could you talk about the satisfaction having overcome those as well to get to this point? Does it make it even sweeter?

JIM HARBAUGH: It couldn’t have gone better. It went exactly how we wanted it to go to win every game. The off-the-field issues, we’re innocent and we stood strong and tall because we knew we were innocent. And I’d like to point that out.

And these guys are innocent. And overcome that, it wasn’t that hard because we knew we were innocent.

So yeah, that’s really what I wanted to say. It went exactly how we wanted it to go. It went exactly how we wanted it to go.

WILL JOHNSON: I would just say that the coaches, Coach Harbaugh and Coach Herb and all those guys instill in us, the distractions, we’re built to last no matter what the outside circumstance is. That’s just what we’re all about.

JIM HARBAUGH: I also want to point out, nothing fancy here. There was nothing surprising. It was just good old-fashioned teamwork, good old-fashioned hard work by these players and these coaches and none of us are up here taking a deep, long bow because we know this was just good old-fashioned teamwork.

BLAKE CORUM: Bunch of blue-collar guys.

Q. Blake, you guys rushed for 303 yards on 8 yards per carry tonight. You started hot in the running game, they adjusted, you finish. How satisfying or how happy were you for Donovan, first of all, and how satisfying was it to close out with the running game?

BLAKE CORUM: I was so excited for Donovan because I just felt like he needed that. He needed it. He’s back. Dono is back. And I don’t know what he’s going to do after this. I hope he just celebrates and doesn’t think about what decision he’s going to make.

But I was happy for him. That’s something Donovan, he was praying for. He talked to the media the other day I; listened to the interview. He said he’s working on growing. He said he went to a therapist and just talking and talking.

But Donovan, he puts in the work. He’s always there. I love that guy. Don, the Don. That’s going to be what do you call it, a good friend —

JIM HARBAUGH: Trusted agent and known friend.

BLAKE CORUM: Trusted agent, known friend for life. That’s my guy. I’m glad I got to share the backfield with Donovan. I wish Donovan nothing but the best, if he ever needed anything, best believe I’d be there for him.

J.J. MCCARTHY: I also wanted to mention something about Donovan. I’ve been honored to be his roommate for two years. And just knowing everything he goes through behind the scenes and just the man he is on a day-to-day basis, this couldn’t have been a better moment for him to show out and show the world who he really is. And just so frickin’ happy for the guy.

BLAKE CORUM: The Don is back.

JIM HARBAUGH: I’m going to talk about the defense. That was a spectacular game by our defense. Jesse Minter, the coaches, Coach Clink. Elite quarterback in Michael Penix.

This man, Will Johnson, talked at halftime we’ve got to get this momentum back. And darned if we don’t get it back the first play of the second half. Pull it down. That was phenomenal.

And the tackling, we missed a couple, but just a couple.

Mike Sainristil, I hope somebody could go grab him and get him up here at the podium. Amazing. Amazing stalwart of a player. Just like these three that are here.

When a play needs to be made, Mike Sainristil has made it. When a play needs to be made, Blake Corum makes it. When a play needs to be made, Will Johnson makes it. When a play needs to be made, J.J. McCarthy makes it, Donovan Edwards makes it, Jaylen Harrell makes it, Junior Colson makes it, Rod Moore makes it.

We’ve just got great players. We’ve got great players that unanimously support each other. Those things that coaches talk about. You can’t — control what you can control. These guys control the uncontrollable things with how they train, how they work, how they play. And there’s unanimous support for each other. You never doubt if someone on this team has your back.

Q. Blake, just wanted to ask a little bit about the first quarter. You guys run for about 175 yards and then you guys went a little quiet with the ground game until you kind of got it back in the second half. Was it something that Washington did? Did they make an adjustment that you noticed? What happened there that kind of had you guys stall out just a bit before you got it going again?

BLAKE CORUM: They may have added another guy in the box, but they made some good plays too. That’s why they were in the national championship. I give them the credit.

Like you said, we started fast. They slowed us up a little bit. But when we needed to start fast again, we started fast. They had us for a little bit. We knew they were going to get theirs.

JIM HARBAUGH: We had another ace up the sleeve. We had a play-action pass to Colston Loveland.

BLAKE CORUM: That was great.

JIM HARBAUGH: That was amazing because — J.J. can talk about this, because I just saw it; he lived it — but he went to release that ball and his arm got hit. And somehow you just wrist — flicked the old booger off the end of the finger or something (laughter).

But you got the ball with some zip to Colston, had to be about 30 yards down the field. Talk about that. How did you do that? You did that.

J.J. MCCARTHY: First off, we set it up earlier. I think it was the drive before, running the same play. But it was actually a run.

And it was just one of those plays where just trusted my fundamentals, trusted the play, trusted Colston. Just seeing him over the middle and see the linebackers press up, I knew it was going to be there. I just had to get that ball off. And the line held up just enough. They held up just enough.

JIM HARBAUGH: Huge play. The fourth-and-13 play, Mike Sainristil makes that interception, returns it down to the 6 or 7 yard line. Will Johnson, that interception. Blake Corum, that big run. Donovan, his two big runs.

And that play right there, had to get the momentum back. They just scored, cut the lead to seven, and we hit that big 40-, 50-yarder. That was right on time.

Q. What box or boxes do you have left to check now in your coaching career after you’ve won a national championship?

JIM HARBAUGH: That’ll check the biggest box. For me, personally, just to be part of the family. With my dad, who won a national championship with Western Kentucky in 2002, and John Harbaugh, who won the Super Bowl 2012 season, 2013 Super Bowl.

I get to sit at the big person’s table now. That feels really good. Just to be the only coach in your only family that hasn’t won a national title or Super Bowl, the championship, that feels great, personally.

Q. Bo Schembechler stated he wanted a Michigan man to be at the head of the Michigan programs. Now a Michigan man has led the program back to pinnacle of success. How do you feel and how does it that the fact that that was something that was sort of written in law that Bo wanted and you were able to accomplish it?

JIM HARBAUGH: It feels great. I told the team last night that that means so much to me to be a Michigan man. Bo Schembechler would talk about the team, the team, the team.

When I was growing up, my dad coached here from ‘73 to ‘79, coached the secondary for Bo. He would come home and tell us things Bo said. And all the time we talked about the team, the team, the team and what that meant — no man, no player, no coach bigger than the team.

And then when I played here at Michigan as a quarterback in the ‘80s, you heard it a lot, all the time — the team, the team, the team.

And we brought that back when I came here in 2015 — the team, the team, the team.

And we’ve made some additions to it. We talk about what’s good for the bee is good for the hive and what’s good for the hive is good for the bee. We talk about all kind of things. But that’s what it comes from.

Just doing something that’s bigger than for yourself, caring about somebody other than yourself, never being outworked, doing right. You don’t lie. You don’t cheat. You don’t steal. And you give it the very best to your God-given ability. That and more.

I mean you could probably write a book, what it means to be a Michigan man. But some day, when they throw dirt over the top of me, if somebody who is eulogizing me, who was on this team or one of my teammates, when I was playing at Michigan, if they would simply say, “He was a Michigan man,” that would mean everything. Would mean everything to me.

And there’s no question there’s probably about 110 guys like that on our football team. And there’s some young guys, some freshmen, some young sophomores that didn’t quite know what it means yet, but — like I didn’t when I was a freshman and a sophomore in college.

It took time to realize just what a magnificent thing it is to be part of a team, where everybody has your back, everybody supports you unanimously.

We slip and we fail sometimes. But that’s what a Michigan man does. He makes it right.

So as I said, I’m not the definition-maker of what a Michigan man is or isn’t, but that’s what’s inside me. That’s what I think of it.

And probably like anybody’s life or life story. It would take a book to write it all. And that’s what I think of being a Michigan man. It would probably take a book to put everything into it. But very proud, very proud to be a Michigan man.

Q. You used the racehorse analogy several times leading up to this game, blinders on, stretch run. You’ve crossed the wire. What’s next?

JIM HARBAUGH: That was everything. That last phase line, that last one more game. And we won it. Such a one-track mind for our entire football team.

Just love it. That was one of our goals, win the next game. To have completed them all, you know, win the big games, win the Big Ten Championship, win the Rose Bowl, win the national championship, it just feels good. You just want to pull it down, you know. It’s glorious, a glorious feeling.

Q. You just mentioned all those accomplishments and the big person’s table. Would you want to add winning a Super Bowl to that?

JIM HARBAUGH: I just want to enjoy this. I just want to enjoy this. I hope you give me that. Can a guy have that? Does it always have to be what’s next, what’s the future?

Like I said the other day, yeah, I hope to have a future. I hope there’s a tomorrow, a day after tomorrow, a next week, a next month, a next year.

And just one last thing. I’ve got two great loves. My love at work, the people I work with — coaches, the staff, players. And the love I have for my family at home. It just means a lot. I see a couple of the kids right here — Jimmy, Grace, Sarah, Johnny, Jack, Katie, Addi — the loves of my life.

And my brother John being here, and my dad and mom being here. And then to be here with our team, and that’s those two families together celebrating, it’s glorious. It is just a beautiful thing.

Q. Earlier this season you said, I don’t have a tattoo, but if we go 15-0, I might consider getting one. What’s your thoughts on that?

JIM HARBAUGH: I said that I would get a tattoo. I have no ink on my body. No tattoos anywhere, but I did say that to our players. I said if we go 15-0, I’m getting a tattoo, it’s 15-0.

I’m going to put it on my shoulder — I don’t know if it’s my left or right yet. I’m a right-handed quarterback, I’ll probably get it on my right.

And then an M, too, an M that’s maize and blue M. Also that signifies a thousand in Roman numerals.

Can’t tell you what that means to us, too, that we reached a thousand wins this year. And where are we at now, a 1,003, four? I lost count. 1,004. 1,004! Four. One of my favorite numbers (laughter).

Definitely going to include that. And it’s such a great thing. I mean, I think of the brothers that have played here together, the father/sons that have played at Michigan. We’ve got a beautiful wall. Brad Galli has shot that wall a few times. A lot of people talk about family.

I mean, that wall to me is — that legacy wall says so much. All the coaches that coached here, if they coached for five years, we’ve got them an M ring this year. And I really appreciate our administration and the M Club, which supports us, so great to get a ring for every coach that’s ever coached at Michigan for five years, and any staff member that coached at Michigan for 10 years, they’re getting an M ring.

There’s so many people, so many coaches, so many staff, administrators — Warde, who played as an administrator here; players, coaches, staff, they put so much into those thousand wins. Thousand wins. That’s the most. That’s the most of any football anywhere.

No high school has gotten to a thousand wins. No other college has gotten to a thousand wins. No other pro team has gotten to a thousand wins: University of Michigan. To reach a thousand wins and win the national championship in the same year, man, doesn’t get much better than that. I would really ask you that. Who could possibly have it better than us? Nobody.