J.J. McCarthy is now the face of the Michigan football program. But before he arrived in Ann Arbor, the talented quarterback was recruited by several other top programs around the country — including Ohio State.
Ultimately, Ryan Day elected to go with another quarterback option in the 2021 class.
McCarthy says this snub sparked a "little fire" in him as he began his college football career.
"Coach Day wanted to go a different route at the quarterback position for the 2021 class. I respect him for his decision, but that was something that jumpstarted a little fire in me," McCarthy said, per 247Sports.
Day and the Buckeyes welcomed five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers in place of McCarthy in the 2021 class. Ewers has since transferred to Texas, where he played for the Longhorns this past season.
McCarthy has been excellent in his first season as a full-time starter with the Wolverines. His five-star quarterback talents have led Michigan to a perfect 13-0 record, a Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff berth.
Michigan will face off against the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Eve.