Without any 2020 analysis possible for the Michigan Wolverines, I turned to analyzing the debut performance from JJ McCarthy. McCarthy, of course, is the highlight of the 2021 class, being a 5-star quarterback and high-tier student recruiter.
He put up a highlight performance against Venice High in his IMG debut, going 23 for 37 with 333 yards and five touchdowns to zero interceptions. He earned player of the game on the nationally televised game, leading his team to a 49-13 blowout.
In my analysis, I break up the film to different categories, then select a few from each category to break down a bit further. Overall, my takeaways from his performance can be summed up with:
- IMG loved to run screen passes & prioritized short, quick passes. This makes sense given the plethora of athletes they have at their disposal. Often, McCarthy’s timing, accuracy, and power was on point and he did really well.
- He could improve his footwork consistency overall. I caught him throwing off his back foot more often than he should be, which caused some inaccuracy issues more than once. Not a huge deal, but something to clean up.
- When comfortable, he’s dangerous. There were a few plays highlighted by our very own Jon Simmons that showed him fitting some balls into tight windows with ease. When McCarthy’s on, watch out.
- Deep balls are TBD. As I said before, IMG opted for shorter & intermediate level throws, so we’ll have to wait for a few games before a verdict can be made about his deep ball accuracy.
It’s hard to be anything but impressed with a 300+ yard, 5 touchdown performance. There are some things to clean up, but McCarthy surely looks to be on a good path for an impressive final year before suiting up for the Wolverines.
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