football Edit Says Michigan QB Commit J.J. McCarthy Could Earn A Fifth Star

La Grange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Academy four-star quarterback J.J. McCarthy is the highest rated pledge in the Michigan Wolverines' 2021 football recruiting class, checking in at No. 33 overall nationally. concludes each recruiting cycle with its top 30-35 (or so) players in the country rated as a five-stars, meaning McCarthy will have an outstanding chance of reaching that status at the conclusion of his senior year if he remains in the numerical range he's currently at.

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Michigan Wolverines football QB commit J.J. McCarthy
Michigan Wolverines football commit J.J. McCarthy is rated as the sixth best quarterback in the country. (Nick Lucero/
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A trio of experts — national analyst Adam Gorney, Mid-Atlantic specialist Adam Friedman and Midwest scout Josh Helmholdt were all asked today which current 2021 four-star quarterback they thought should be eventually be bumped up to a five-star, and Helmholdt sided with McCarthy.

"Right now there is not much support outside of myself on the analyst team for McCarthy as a potential five-star down the road, but I have also seen him more than the others," he explained.

"One point I want to clarify off the top is McCarthy has one of the strongest arms I have ever covered. He can absolutely sling the rock. The other elite attribute that needs to be highlighted is McCarthy's will to win.

"It's fitting he's from Chicago, because McCarthy has a [former Chicago Bulls/Washington Wizards guard] Michael Jordan-like desire to win at everything he sets out to do.

"Physically, McCarthy is filling out his frame, but the next thing we need to see from him before considering a fifth star is limiting mistakes."

IF McCarthy does indeed conclude the 2021 recruiting cycle as a five-star and signs with Michigan, he'll become just the third five-star signal-caller the Wolverines have reeled in out of high school since the era began in 2002.

Assuming he remains at or near his current numerical ranking of No. 33, McCarthy would also become the highest rated high school quarterback U-M has signed since Ryan Mallett in 2007, who checked in as the No. 4 player in the country.

The Maize and Blue have inked 11 four-star prep signal-callers and two five-stars during the era, with Mallett and Chad Henne (in 2004) comprising the latter.

Below is a look at every four and five-star quarterback U-M has signed out of high school since 2002, ranked in order from highest to lowest:


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