ANN ARBOR, Michigan: The quarterback from Michigan who won a national championship, J.J. McCarthy, plans to forego his senior year in order to enter the NFL draft.
A day after being pleaded with to stay, McCarthy made the announcement on Sunday.
He posted on social media, “I love my teammates, I love my coaches, and I love Ann Arbor. The decision was not easy and how could it be.”
It could be Jim Harbaugh’s turn to go.
This week, Harbaugh is scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles Chargers regarding their head coach position, an individual with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press. The person was not allowed to publicly discuss personnel moves, so they spoke to the AP on Sunday under the condition of anonymity.
In addition to the Chargers, there are openings with Atlanta, Carolina, Las Vegas, Seattle, Tennessee, and Washington; at least a few of those teams might be interested in having Harbaugh return to the NFL.
On Saturday, the Wolverines marched through the town and towards their basketball arena. A chant started as McCarthy stood and grinned at the packed house when it was his turn to speak.
The supporters wearing maize and blue exclaimed, “One more year! One more year!” together.
McCarthy reminded the crowd of his social media post from Nov. 15, 2020, when he asked Michigan fans to take three deep breaths and express gratitude for their faith in the players and coaches, amidst the team’s 2-4 season due to the pandemic.
He then talked about his future.
McCarthy remarked, “I know lots of us got some big-time life decision to make,” while standing on the Crisler Center stage. “But I just wanted to let you guys know that no matter what happens, Michigan will always hold a special place in my heart. Furthermore, I will take great pride in being a Michigan man.
The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from LSU, Jayden Daniels, is barely ahead of the AP All-Big Ten quarterback, who completed 72.3% of his passes to rank sixth. Regarding passing efficiency, he ranked ninth in the country.
McCarthy passed for 2,991 yards this season, which ranked fourth at Michigan in a single season, and 22 touchdowns for the second straight year. After Week 3, he was picked off just once, had thrown four interceptions, and had not thrown any in the previous four games.
Over the course of two years, he had a 27-1 record as a starter and won 96.4% of his games, which is the highest percentage of wins by a quarterback with at least 20 starts since Chuck Ealey of Toledo finished his career 35-0 in 1971.
In La Grange Park, Illinois, 15 miles west of Chicago, he was raised. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he played his senior year of high school at IMG Academy in Florida, having won two state titles in three years at his hometown’s Nazareth Academy.
McCarthy claimed he fell into depression after being cut off from his family and confined primarily to his room by himself. He started to meditate after reading about ways to enhance his mental health, and eventually made it a daily routine.
McCarthy would meditate at the base of a goalpost a few hours before kickoff, even on game days, to help him cope with the pressure of playing such a crucial position. His foundation, JJ For The Kids, was established to assist children in Ann Arbor and Chicago, and he has turned into a public advocate for mental health.
As a freshman at Michigan, McCarthy supported Cade McNamara as the team won its first of three consecutive Big Ten titles and snapped an eight-game losing streak to rival Ohio State. McCarthy helped the Wolverines make it to the College Football Playoff for the second time in three years in 2022 after beating out McNamara for the position. As a result, McCarthy transferred to Iowa.
He led Michigan to victory over Washington on Monday night, which helped the team win a school record 15-0 record and its first national championship since 1997. The resounding victory ended a season marred by a scheme to steal players’ contracts, which resulted in head coach Jim Harbaugh’s suspension by the Big Ten for the last three regular season games.
Charlie Baker, the president of the NCAA, recently told reporters that Michigan won the national championship “fair and square.”
Harbaugh might soon need to make a significant choice as well.
With three seasons remaining on his contract, Harbaugh’s athletic director Warde Manuel informed the crowd at the championship celebration on Saturday night that he was negotiating a new contract with the goal of keeping him away from NFL teams.
2015 saw Harbaugh return to Michigan, where he was a standout quarterback during his four years with the San Francisco 49ers. He left the team due to conflict with the front office. Nearly eleven years ago, he and his brother, John, lost the Super Bowl to Baltimore after he attended three consecutive NFC championship games.