JJ McCarthy health update, team outlook in 2022

JJ McCarthy health update, team outlook in 2022


One of the big questions for Michigan football this offseason naturally starts at the quarterback position — who will start this fall? Will it be incumbent Cade McNamara or upstart JJ McCarthy?

That’s a question that wasn’t able to be answered this spring, as McCarthy’s throwing shoulder precluded him from partaking in the offseason sessions — at least at full capacity. He didn’t require surgery and got a little more than mental reps, as he still took snaps and didn’t throw, but he didn’t quite get the opportunity to work to supplant McNamara.

This weekend, appearing in Traverse City for ‘Wolverines Weekend,’ McCarthy caught up with WXYZ’s Brad Galli and told him he’s nearly back to full strength.

“Very close, very, very close,” McCarthy said. “It’s a matter of a couple weeks now before I’ll be 100%, so I’m super thrilled.”

Naturally, in this day and age of college football, some fans have been skeptical about what happens should McNamara retain the starting job — not just this season, but for the future.

The college football landscape has changed with the one-time transfer exception essentially transforming the sport into having a free agency. When players don’t get to start right away, they often seek so-called greener pastures.

But McCarthy isn’t that type of player. If he doesn’t win the starting job in 2022, he has no intention of going anywhere. Because in a modern age where patience and resilience aren’t key tenets, the second-year former five-star is something of a throwback, recognizing it’s a meritocracy, no matter his grand potential.

“Because it’s the journey. So many kids my age and kids these days always focus on the destination of starting and being the guy,” McCarthy said. “I’m just falling in love with the process and falling in love with getting better every single day. At the end of the day, it’s up to me. If I want to start, I have to prove that I’m able to start for them to have comfortability and trust that I can be that guy. Just finding more and more ways I’m able to get better and more and more ways I can learn about myself. I’m loyal to the University of Michigan. I’m not just gonna get up and leave if things don’t go my way.”

Either way, whether he’s starting or not, McCarthy says that this team is emboldened by its success from a year ago. Though some in Michigan’s spot could rest on its laurels, knowing that it was Big Ten champions and played in the College Football Playoff in 2021, McCarthy says that he and his teammates are fully aware of what awaits them this coming season — as well as what It takes to get over the hump, considering the loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff.

“It just set our perspective of what we’re able to accomplish,” McCarthy said. “Knowing that it made us work even harder and harder because it’s even harder to get back there and get past that threshold of getting to the semifinal game, and getting to the national championship. It was just extremely motivating to lead off with that bad taste in our mouths. It was honestly the best thing for us in my eyes.”

Watch the full interview below:

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