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JJ McCarthy is taking it up a notch under new QB coach Kirk Campbell

According to reports from spring ball, fans should expect big strides in year two of JJ McCarthy.

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Michigan football, JJ McCarthy, new QB coach Kirk Campbell
Apr 1, 2023; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) on the sideline during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — We are only a few months out from the start of the 2023 college football season. After going 13-1, winning the Big Ten title, and making the College Football Playoff under first-year starting quarterback JJ McCarthy, the Michigan football team is looking for much bigger and better from their rising junior quarterback this fall. According to a fellow Michigan quarterback — Davis Warren — McCarthy is taking it up a notch this spring under new QB coach Kirk Campbell.

JJ McCarthy needs to go from good to great in year two as a starter

A season ago, as a sophomore with the Michigan football team, JJ McCarthy was a good quarterback. At times, he shinned bright — such as Michigan’s 45-23 win over Ohio State — however, at other times, McCarthy looked like a first-year starter and struggled (such as the Illinois game).

As Michigan’s full-time starter in year two, the Wolverines simply need more from McCarthy. Better throws, more intelligent plays, and more.

As we have seen over the past two seasons, average quarterback play is sometimes enough — in 2021, it got Michigan football an 11-1 regular season, a win over Ohio State, a Big Ten title, and the program’s first-ever playoff berth. In fact, a season ago, with “good” quarterbacking, the Wolverines did even better, going 12-0 in the regular season, a second-straight Big Ten title, a playoff berth, and more. Still, if Michigan wants to take things up a notch, it will need McCarthy to go from good to great in 2023; under new QB coach Kirk Campbell, he is liable to do precisely that.

Davis Warren comments on the progression of JJ McCarthy under new QB coach Kirk Campbell

When inquiring about the Michigan football quarterback room, who better to talk to than one of the Wolverines’ quarterbacks? Michigan quarterback Davis Warren had time to comment on his new position coach, the QB room, his team, JJ McCarthy, and more following the annual Michigan spring game on April 1st. When asked about JJ’s development from 2022 to 2023 under new QB coach Kirk Campbell, Davis Warren had high praise from the rising junior gunslinger.

“He’s just playing on time, playing in rhythm, taking what’s given to him, not forcing things, and just being surgical,” Davis Warren said about Michigan football rising junior quarterback JJ McCarthy. “That’s the best way to describe it, just like, knows where he’s going with the football, super decisive with it.

“That’s really impressed me, and kind of think some credit goes to coach Campbell,” Warren continued, “who’s done a really good job of helping us play on time and play in rhythm. I think that’s the biggest thing going into the year is just, if we keep doing what we’re doing I think the QB’s as a whole had a really good spring, and just keep doing what we’re doing every week…it’s gonna be scary.”

McCarthy could be the best this fall

Additionally, when asked about how good JJ McCarthy can be in the Maize and Blue, Warren had a simple answer: “The best.”



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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.

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