It’s May and the college football season is still months away, but preseason rankings and lists are out in full force.
Bill Bender of The Sporting News put out a list ranking college football’s top 25 quarterbacks in 2023, and Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy made the cut with ease.
McCarthy was ranked at No. 5 on Bender’s list. Here are the top five.
- 5: J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)
- 4: Bo Nix (Oregon)
- 3: Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
- 2: Drake May (North Carolina)
- 1: Caleb Williams (USC)
Bender on McCarthy
“McCarthy is the most-talented quarterback Jim Harbaugh has had since 2015, and that showed in another Big Ten championship run. McCarthy took the starting job from Cade McNamara, finished 12-1 as a starter and became the first Michigan quarterback to win at Ohio State since 2000. McCarthy stepped up when running back Blake Corum was injured with 255.7 passing yards, eight TDs and three interceptions in the Wolverines’ last three games. McCarthy still needs to improve on his accuracy in the vertical game, but the play-making skills and moxie are there. McCarthy is more than capable of leading another CFP run – and he has a chance to be the first Michigan QB selected in the first round since Harbaugh in 1987.”
McCarthy now has a year of starting experience under his belt and is entering his junior season — he’s now a veteran and will surely be elected a team captain this fall. McCarthy is now considered the best QB in the Big Ten and he’s on a team that’s went to the College Football Playoff in back-to-back seasons and has a realistic shot of getting back there once again in 2023.
Bender is right in his assertion that McCarthy could be the first Michigan QB drafted in Round One of the NFL Draft since Jim Harbaugh. With great individual success from the QB position, great team success can come. Michigan will still rely heavily upon the rushing attack of Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, but McCarthy will be allowed to let it rip when necessary and show he’s a legitimate top NFL prospect.