JJ McCarthy arrived in Ann Arbor with a versatile skillset and all the hype and expectations that accompany a 5-star quarterback. After playing intermittently as a true freshman, McCarthy grabbed the starting job in 2022 and never looked back.

Throughout the off-season and beginning of 2023, head coach Jim Harbaugh has not backed off from labeling the QB a once-in-a-generation player. Harbaugh has compared McCarthy’s total skillset to the likes of Pat Mahomes and Andrew Luck.

At his Monday press conference, Harbaugh wanted to offer a correction to his previous comments on McCarthy. He did not retract his comments and instead elevated his opinion of McCarthy, saying the QB is on track to be the best in Michigan’s legendary history.


ESPN BET is now live in Michigan

Use promo code SATURDAY to get your $250 bonus


“I feel like I stand corrected from what I’ve been saying the last several months which is JJ’s a once-in-a-generation QB. JJ has shown to be on a path to be the best QB in Michigan history,” said Harbaugh. “The statistics I’m sure speak to that, and the statistic that speaks to it the most is the amount of drives.

“He’s had 213 drives. We’ve scored on 130 of those drives, 96 have been touchdowns, 34 field goals, 61%. It’s really remarkable. There’s no statistic that demonstrates the quality of QB play more than that statistic in my mind.”

As for the future, Harbaugh expects McCarthy to be the mold future QBs are compared to:

“I think going forward, JJ will be the QB that all future QBs are compared to,” Harbaugh explained.

That is certainly high praise, but it is hard to dispute the individual and team results with McCarthy under center. He has thrown for 4,747 yards in parts of 3 seasons with 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His work in the ground game brings McCarthy’s total up to 51 total touchdowns.

Once McCarthy reaches 5,000 yards passing, he will join Harbaugh as 1 of 9 players to reach the plateau in UM history. His 41 TDs are also tied for 8th on the all-time list.

As for the top spot on Michigan’s all-time list, McCarthy has quite a way to go to reach Chad Henne, but the QB could return for the 2024 season. We’ll see what his future plans are down the road, but he’s certainly clicking at an elite level.

(H/T The Wolverine)