By any measure, this has been a memorable season for the Michigan Wolverines. Heading into the ultimate weeks of the common season, the Wolverines are ready to win the Large Ten title and return to the School Soccer Playoff. With sports activities betting in Michigan is now authorized, a large number of followers are wagering on the Wolverines to safe the nationwide title. Central to this triumph is quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who has firmly established himself in his position as a key participant.
In the course of the season, head coach Jim Harbaugh has steered that McCarthy might find yourself being the perfect quarterback in Michigan historical past, which is lofty reward. Harbaugh has additionally in contrast McCarthy to Andrew Luck, who Harbaugh coached at Stanford. Such a comparability shouldn’t be made calmly. In fact, given the sturdy quarterback lineage at Michigan, together with Harbaugh himself, how shut is McCarthy to being the perfect to ever play for the Wolverines? Let’s take a better have a look at how McCarthy compares to the perfect quarterbacks in Michigan historical past.
Clearly, Brady has staked his declare as the best NFL quarterback of all time. However he wasn’t essentially the best in Michigan historical past. He was a backup on the 1997 Michigan crew that gained the nationwide championship earlier than taking on because the starter for 2 seasons. Throughout these two years, the Wolverines went 20-5, incomes a share of the Large Ten title in Brady’s first season as a starter. Nevertheless, with 30 landing passes, 16 interceptions, and a modest 7.5 yards per move throughout these two seasons, Brady didn’t precisely go away Michigan a dwelling legend.
Henne has the benefit of being a four-year starter, serving to to spice up his total numbers. In fact, beginning as a real freshman at Michigan has been an uncommon prevalence, so Henne deserves loads of credit score for that accomplishment. His 4 seasons coincided with the final 4 years of Lloyd Carr’s tenure, which is among the most memorable eras in Michigan soccer. Whereas he performed with a robust supporting solid, Henne threw at the least 22 landing passes in three straight seasons, falling brief as a senior as a result of an damage. He additionally led the Wolverines to at the least 9 wins in three of his 4 seasons, in the end leaving the varsity because the all-time chief in passing yards and passing touchdowns with 87.
The present Michigan coach had fairly the profession as a participant. Whereas the Wolverines have been simply 6-6 throughout his first yr as a starter, that season started with an upset over reigning nationwide champion Miami. Throughout Harbaugh’s junior and senior seasons, Michigan went 21-3-1 and completed second within the nation in 1985. Whereas a few of his information would later be damaged, Harbaugh left the Wolverines as Michigan’s all-time chief in passing yards. He additionally set the NCAA report for passer effectivity throughout his three years as a starter, a report that remained intact for 12 years.
Whereas he ended up spending a decade within the large leagues as a professional baseball participant, Leach was an elite faculty quarterback within the Seventies beneath Bo Schembechler. The southpaw began all however one sport throughout his 4 years at Michigan. He was a real dual-threat quarterback who threw for over 4,000 yards and ran for over 2,100 yards throughout his profession. Whereas his accuracy as a passer wasn’t nice, nor have been his 33 profession interceptions in comparison with 46 landing passes, Leach was accountable for an NCAA-record 82 whole touchdowns. Extra importantly, the Wolverines went 38-8-2 with him because the starter between 1975 and 1978 with Leach main Michigan to 4 top-10 finishes and three consecutive Rose Bowls.
Does McCarthy evaluate to any or the entire 4 quarterbacks talked about? Effectively, after he was lastly capable of distinguish himself from Cade McNamara early within the 2022 season, he began placing collectively a resume that’s value being thought-about as the perfect quarterback in Michigan historical past. McCarthy totaled 27 touchdowns and threw simply 5 interceptions final yr, serving to Michigan go 13-0 heading into the School Soccer Playoff. Exterior of his two interceptions within the nationwide semifinal, there isn’t far more McCarthy might have achieved to assist the Wolverines in a wild 51-45 loss in opposition to TCU.
In 2023, McCarthy picked up the place he left off. He’s helped the Wolverines steamroll one opponent after one other, finishing greater than 75% of his passes and averaging higher than 10 yards per move. McCarthy has additionally used his legs when wanted, however his unimaginable accuracy and effectivity as a passer are what has made him stand out as a Heisman candidate and put the Wolverines within the working for the nationwide title.
Nevertheless, McCarthy nonetheless has loads left to perform if he desires to prime Brady, Henne, Harbaugh, and Leach. All 4 had a mixture of spectacular stats and lots of wins. Harbaugh was proper to say that McCarthy is on a path that might lead him to turn out to be the perfect in Michigan historical past. However he’s not there but, though main the Wolverines to a nationwide championship will surely assist his case.