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J.J. McCarthy ranks No. 8 on PFF’s top returners list

Expectations are high for the Michigan junior gunslinger.

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Syndication: Arizona Republic Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Pro Football Focus (PFF) has released its list of the top ten returning quarterbacks for the upcoming 2023 season.

Michigan’s junior quarterback J.J. McCarthy comes in at No. 8 on the PFF list.

McCarthy, who won the starting job in Week 2 last year, finished the season with 2,719 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, five interceptions, and an undefeated 13-0 regular season record. McCarthy is the only Big Ten quarterback represented on PFF’s list and is currently listed as the No. 12 Heisman Trophy favorite at +2500 on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Even last year, McCarthy’s potential was undeniable. When PFF released its annual top ten before the 2022 season, it listed McCarthy as a sleeper despite the return of Michigan’s presumptive starter and Big Ten Championship quarterback Cade McNamara.

Expectations have reached “championship or bust” heights for the Wolverines and McCarthy is a big part of that.

Can McCarthy set the single-season record for any Michigan passing records next year?

Completions: John Navarre (270) - McCarthy completed 208 in 2022 sliding him in at No. 11.

Yards: Navarre (3,331) - McCarthy finished No. 8 in Michigan history last year with 2,719.

Touchdowns: Elvis Grbac (25) - McCarthy is tied No. 6 all time with 22.

To no one’s surprise, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from USC Caleb Williams has topped PFF’s list. Williams finished the 2022 season with 4,537 passing yards, 42 touchdowns, and only five interceptions.

The entire top ten:

  1. Caleb Williams, USC
  2. Drake Maye, North Carolina
  3. Jordan Travis, Florida State
  4. Michael Penix Jr, Washington
  5. Bo Nix, Oregon
  6. Jayden Daniels, LSU
  7. Sam Hartman, Notre Dame
  8. J.J. McCarthy, Michigan
  9. KJ Jefferson, Arkansas
  10. Michael Pratt, Tulane