Coming out of high school, J.J. McCarthy was one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in his class but that did not mean he was going to come into the University of Michigan and automatically be the starting quarterback as a freshman.
In fact, McCarthy was not the Wolverines’ starting quarterback in 2021 as that honor went to Cade McNamara.
That being said, McCarthy did get plenty of playing time as a true freshman and it was all part of the plan.
Michigan OC explains plan for J.J. McCarthy’s freshman season
According to Michigan’s co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss, who recently spoke to the media, there was a plan in place for J.J. McCarthy during his freshman season with the Wolverines.
From Maize and Brew Review:
“We can go back to last year now that it’s over to explain what we were doing with that,” Weiss said. “The first thing you had is your backup quarterback had never taken a snap in college football. Certainly, you don’t know when you’re going to need him and you don’t want to be in a position where the first time you need him is on the road in a close game against a ranked opponent and the guy has never taken a snap. You look through college football, you’ve seen that happen to a Big Ten team last year.”
“The first thing is we need to get him on the field and get him experience to develop our backup because that’s the only way to do that,” Weiss said. “Then, the other thing we did, we used him on a lot of quarterback runs, certainly threw the ball effectively also. With that difference, it controlled the defense.”
“If you’re running a lot of quarterback runs, you’re not going to be running blitzes and showing them all different coverages, they’re going to make sure they have everything gapped out. They’re going to be more static. That made things easier for him. He didn’t have to go out and third and 15 with some crazy blitz coming. We were able to control when he was in the game, what he was doing and help him have success so he can build on that success. We were able to build our backup. Then, at the same time, he was able to do things athletically that helped us. He helped us win games. To his credit, he earned the opportunity to go out there and do that and he helped us win games and he was really effective. He’s a really good player and he’s going to be really good. We’re excited about him and his future. It’s hard to see him being anything but really, really good at the University of Michigan whenevr his time comes. We’re just going to continue to develop him and he’ll be playing for us at some point. It’s just a question when.”
Nation, what do you think will be the plan for J.J. McCarthy during his sophomore season?