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CJ Carr plans to carve his own path at Notre Dame
C.J. Carr, grandson of former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, smiles after his announcement of his commitment to Notre Dame at Liberty School in Saline on Thursday, June 9, 2022. (Credit: Akash Pamarthy/USA TODAY Network)

CJ Carr plans to carve his own path at Notre Dame

SALINE, Mich. (BVM) –  Poet Robert Frost speaks to Saline High School junior CJ Carr in his 1916 classic, “The Road Not Taken.” There may be a clue why Carr chose to step out from the shadows of Ann Arbor.

“Then took the other, as just as fair. And having perhaps the better claim.”

That could be a hint as to why the five-star field general broke ranks with his family and decades of tradition at the University of Michigan. CJ shared his plans to play for Notre Dame in early June.

This was a shock to faithful fans, though not such a surprise to the Carr clan. His dad Jason is an ex-backup QB (1992-95) at U of M. His mom Tammi is a Michigan alum as well. What’s more, both of his grandfathers are legends in Wolverine lore.

Many will know Jason’s father, vaunted former head coach Lloyd Carr. Coach Carr had great success in his run at Michigan. The Wolverines appeared in a bowl game every single postseason under him. They won the 1997 national title under his guidance as well.

That’s quite a legacy but couldn’t sway C.J. to stay.

The 6-foot-3 signal-caller has been a top-ranked recruit, among the best in his class. He got chased by Alabama and Georgia, along with a slew of other big-name schools.

Carr notched big numbers last year. He threw for almost 2,700 yards and 28 TDs against only four picks. The third-generation gridder connected on 64% of his passes and steered his Hornets to a 9-1 season.

A commitment from C.J. now has Notre Dame at No. 1 in the 2024 recruiting class rankings, by 247 Team Composite. It is easy to understand why Carr is coveted by colleges across the country.

His advanced throwing mechanics are lauded by scouts. He shows sound footwork and a smooth release. As for precious intangibles, Carr can feel pocket pressure and evade the rush. A closer look reveals his deft passing touch.

Plus, he’s able to make throws all over the field. When you boil everything down, Carr simply makes plays.

“I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.”

Sometimes our lives shape our decisions, other times our choices shape our lives.

Even as CJ emerges from the shadows, a dark cloud hangs over him. In 2015, his baby brother Chad succumbed to a brain tumor at the age of 5. Chadtough.org was founded in Chad’s honor to help others defeat diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

No matter where CJ lands, he carries his family legacy, while Chad’s memory lives on.