Where Is J.J. McCarthy From? Following the Michigan QB’s Path to Ann Arbor

    Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy has made himself known at a national level with the Wolverines, but where did his football journey start? Here's a closer look.

    Where did Michigan QB and NFL Draft prospect J.J. McCarthy start his football journey? Fittingly, postseason play has never been foreign to McCarthy. He has enjoyed two College Football Playoff berths so far with the Wolverines. In high school, he helped his teams earn similar success.

    Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy’s Background

    Originally, McCarthy is from La Grange Park, Illinois. That’s where he grew up, began his high school football career at Nazareth Academy, and quickly distinguished himself as a special quarterback talent.

    McCarthy helped lead Nazareth to the division state title game three years in a row from 2017 to 2019, and in 2018, Nazareth won the Class 7A state title. That year, McCarthy completed 76% of his passes for 3,448 yards, 39 touchdowns, and just four interceptions.

    After a storied career at Nazareth, McCarthy concluded his high school football career at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida — the same program that helped develop eventual first-round picks like Evan Neal, Cesar Ruiz, Greg Newsome II, and Nolan Smith.

    At IMG Academy, McCarthy helped his team go 8-0 in regular season play, and threw for 1,392 yards, 16 touchdowns, and no interceptions. His play helped earn him a four-star recruit billing, and he signed with the Michigan Wolverines out of high school, with whom he’s now blossomed into a 2024 NFL Draft prospect.

    J.J. McCarthy’s 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report

    Heading into the 2023 campaign, McCarthy graded out as a Day 2 prospect with Round 1 potential. That Round 1 outcome is contingent on consistent development, but so far, McCarthy has shown improvement in a few areas of QB play.

    After Week 2, we conducted a scouting spotlight on his early-season play to pinpoint the improvements in his game and concluded: “McCarthy is a high-level creative force, with an elastic, high-velocity arm. And beyond that, he’s an anticipatory, manipulative pocket passer with newfound poise and mechanical discipline.”

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    Through four games, McCarthy has completed nearly 80% of his passes at over 10 yards per attempt, for 930 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions.

    To see the account of McCarthy’s strengths and weaknesses as a QB prospect, you can view his full 2024 NFL Draft scouting report here at Pro Football Network.

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