While Jim Harbaugh’s future at Michigan is still a bit uncertain, the Wolverines’ quarterback situation looks bright.

J.J. McCarthy, a 5-star pro-style QB prospect from IMG Academy, officially signed with Michigan on Wednesday morning. That means Harbaugh is able to publicly talk about McCarthy’s future, and he didn’t hold back.

“You’ve got to term [McCarthy] as a real leader,” Harbaugh said on the MGoBlue podcast with Jon Jansen on Wednesday night. “Every single guy in the class, I often ask them, ‘Who’s your favorite player in the class?’ and J.J.’s name is always mentioned one or two or three. He’s done a tremendous job connecting with the class.”


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According to 247Sports Composite rankings, McCarthy is the No. 2 pro-style QB prospect in the class of 2021 and the nation’s No. 22 overall player.

Harbaugh also identified what initially drew him to McCarthy as a player.

“He’s a very exciting player,” Harbaugh said. “A competitor. The first thing I really liked about him, his sophomore year he played in the state championship game, had a broken bone in his left hand, hockey player, [and thought] here’s a tough kid. Won a lot of games. Kept growing as a player, very athletic, throws it extremely well. He plays with a lot of energy.

“[McCarthy has] that ‘it factor.’ You know when you step into a huddle how important that is for the quarterback to have that, the confidence, the energy and also a guy who makes a lot of really good decisions and plays really good and competes, gives it everything he has.”

McCarthy is expected to enroll early and participate in spring practice.

Michigan’s Week 9 game was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program. The Wolverines’ season is over pending a bowl invitation.