July 23, 2024

After finishing 10th in the 2023 Heisman Trophy voting, the Michigan QB is being mentioned in the 2024 Heisman discussions.

Michigan football had two players finish in the top 10 in Heisman voting this season. Blake Corum finished No. 9 with three first-place votes and J.J. McCarthy came in at No. 10 with one first-place vote.

The Wolverines still have potentially two games left in the 2023 football season, but analysts are already looking ahead to the 2024 season and which players might be in the discussion for the ’24 Heisman Trophy.

McCarthy, a junior, will have a big decision to make after the Wolverines are done playing this season. Will he enter the 2024 NFL draft, or will he come back for his last season in Ann Arbor? As of now, McCarthy is being projected anywhere from QB No. 3 to QB No. 7 on various draft boards.

But if he decides to come back in 2024, he will be a name to watch out for to win the big award.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach came up with a list of names that could be in the 2024 Heisman discussion.

Here’s what he said about McCarthy.

McCarthy could take his chances in the NFL draft, especially if the Wolverines win a national championship. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s future at his alma mater is also murky. McCarthy’s statistics aren’t as gaudy as those of some of the other quarterbacks in wide-open offenses. He does a great job running Michigan’s offense and largely avoids mistakes. He threw for 2,630 yards with 19 touchdown passes and four interceptions during the regular season.

In his second season as the starter for Michigan, the junior put up similar numbers to the 2022 McCarthy. The former five-star threw for 2,719 yards, 22 touchdowns, and five interceptions in 14 games last season.

This year, through 13 games, McCarthy has thrown for 2,630 yards, 19 touchdowns, and four interceptions. But where McCarthy made the biggest improvement is his decision-making and accuracy. McCarthy went from completing 64.6% of his passes in 2022 to being the second-most accurate passer in 2023 completing 74.2% of his throws.

It’s hard to imagine McCarthy ever putting up gaudy numbers like Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix, or Michael Penix Jr because Michigan doesn’t ask him to, or need him to.

It took eight games before McCarthy played a fourth quarter — or his numbers would be higher. The Wolverines like to run the football and impose their will in the trenches.

Things could look different next season if McCarthy returns to Ann Arbor with Blake Corum going to the NFL. But we will have to see what decision McCarthy makes after the Wolverines’ 2023 season is complete.

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