Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh sees J.J. McCarthy as the next … Jim Harbaugh!
When Jim Harbaugh watches J.J. McCarthy play quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines, it is like him going into a time machine and being able to watch himself play from yesteryear.
Prior to be a one-of-a-kind head football coach, Harbaugh was a Heisman Trophy finalist for the Wolverines in the late 1980s. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears, where he had a great deal of success, and even more a few years later with the Indianapolis Colts. While McCarthy has his whole football future ahead of him, we all know that his initials clearly stand for Jimmy Junior!
Harbaugh commented on “McCarthy’s fearlessness and distaste for playing it safe”, referring to his starting quarterback as “a young Jimmy Harbaugh.”
Jim Harbaugh sees a younger version of himself in Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy
It may have taken a minute, but Harbaugh deciding to go with McCarthy over the incumbent Cade McNamara as his starting quarterback is working out just fine. The Wolverines are 4-0 in McCarthy starts, as he completed 18-of-24 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown in 27-14 defensive-minded win over Iowa at Kinnick. It is so hard to win on the road in Iowa City anyway…
Although Michigan might be able to take its foot off the gas a bit next week when the Wolverines take on Indiana in Bloomington, they have a huge game in two weeks when Penn State comes to town. Even if they have a bye week ahead of the Michigan State game, that one is rarely easy. While Michigan may not lose a game until late November, the Horseshoe date looms large already.
Ultimately, McCarthy is still a tad unrefined, but he can get this Michigan offense to a place that perhaps McNamara could not. Given that Harbaugh is one of the greatest quarterbacks in program history, his endorsement of the new starting signal-caller bodes well for the Wolverines. They will still be a top five team entering Week 6, but this group is wanting more than just a playoff berth.
McCarthy may be a tad reckless, but his upside is worth rolling the dice on if you are Michigan.