As a Top High School Recruit, JJ McCarthy was a Big Fan of PJ Fleck After Gophers Visit

JJ McCarthy, Michigan, Minnesota
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings scored big on Thursday night landing two top talents in the 2024 NFL Draft, one being their QB of the future JJ McCarthy, who they had to jump up to the No. 10 spot to lock in.

But this isn’t the first time that McCarthy has stepped off a plane in Minnesota to meet with football coaches and players from a popular local football team. JJ may have ended up at (and won a National Championship for) the University of Michigan but, before he made that decision, he was also considering the University of Minnesota.

JJ McCarthy loved his visit with Minnesota Gophers, PJ Fleck

jj mccarthy, minnesota vikings
Photo: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It was during his sophomore year of high school (2019), that McCarthy found himself in dinkytown, where he couldn’t believe how nice the facilities were and everything Minnesota had to offer. McCarthy legitimately seemed blown away by the entire experience, but especially by head coach PJ Fleck.

Head coach PJ Fleck said the same thing as coach Ciarrocca. That it’s gonna take a certain kind of kid to come into Minnesota and get them over the hump. He said he wants a national quarterback, and I’m that. Honestly, I’d say my favorite part of the visit was talking with coach Fleck. His direct message on the way he will develop us into great teammates, husbands, fathers, and men. He had me motivated.

JJ McCarthy – 247sports

Related: PJ Fleck, Gophers Reel in Two More Elite Offensive Talents Out of Transfer Portal

McCarthy relayed his visit experience to 247sports, highlighting the Gopher hockey game, along with the overall quality of campus and facilities. JJ seemed to have an overall positive interaction with multiple coaches, all ove which he raved about.

On my Minnesota visit over the weekend, I had a chance to see the facilities, watch a hockey game, put on the uniform, and talk to coach Fleck quite a bit. With this being my first visit to Minnesota, I thought that their campus and facilities were crazy. I couldn’t believe how nice everything was and they had everything. I talked the most with offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca and tight ends coach Clay Patterson while I was there. Coach Patterson and I were talking at the hockey game. I explained a little hockey to him because he is from Texas / Oklahoma area.

JJ McCarthy – 247sports

Related: Vikings’ Trade Offer to Patriots for No. 3 Pick Revealed by NFL Insider

McCarthy highlights how the Gophers have made significant strides in recruiting, attributing it to their impressive facilities. It’s pretty awesome to hear a young JJ McCarthy giving props to Fleck and his ability to motivate and communicate. But what’s even cooler is seeing everything come full circle, as he’s set to make the move to Minnesota.

I feel like Minnesota has definitely put themselves on the map for my recruiting. It’s a special place. Facilities are insane. I really enjoyed my visit.

JJ McCarthy – 247sports

We didn’t get to see him in maroon and gold. But hey, now he’s the quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, we get to (hopefully) have him even longer. Hell, Michigan only got him for two seasons. If he turns out to be the quarterback that Kevin O’Connell thinks he will be, JJ could potentially be in a Vikings uniform for over a decade.

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