Notre Dame and Michigan have had a rivalry for years on the field and now the Irish can claim a unique recruiting win against the Wolverines as 2024 quarterback CJ Carr announced his commitment to them Thursday.
Carr is the grandson of former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr and the son of former Wolverines quarterback Jason Carr. He’s a 6-foot-3, 195-pound quarterback from Saline High School in Saline, Michigan, near Ann Arbor, and he will play his college football in South Bend, Indiana.
“I’ve been telling my family I’m going to Notre Dame since this last spring,” Carr told ESPN. “[This past] sunday [on a visit] was really when I told my dad that there’s no chance for anyone else, I’m going to Notre Dame.”
Carr received his first scholarship offers from Michigan and then Michigan State shortly after his last freshman football game. His father didn’t tell him Michigan offered initially, trying to let his son finish out the season. But once the Spartans jumped in, he informed him of both scholarships.
The summer going into his sophomore year, he took visits across the Midwest and Big Ten, and then really started to take his recruitment seriously once his sophomore season was finished.
“I took some spring visits and really after my spring visits I knew I wanted to go to Notre Dame,” Carr said. “My dad had me hold off a little longer just so I could see all that’s out there and really get all the opportunities that were presented. After the last camp at Notre Dame, we were supposed to go down south and I was like, ‘ Dad, I know where I want to go,’ and he let me commit.”
Despite the ties to the Michigan program, his family has been supportive of him creating his own path and choosing the school that fits him best. His parents have been guiding him along the way, while allowing him to experience the whole process and make his own decision.
“This last visit [to Notre Dame] was when we brought my mom and two cousins,” Carr said. “We talked to [offensive coordinator] Tommy Rees and coach [Marcus] Freeman for about 15 minutes and my whole family was in love. They were smiling from ear to ear.”
Carr says his grandfather, who was the head coach at Michigan from 1995 to 2007 and coached the Wolverines to a national championship in 1997, was supportive and excited about his decision.
“He loves it. We got him a [Notre Dame] shirt and he loves Coach Rees and Coach Freeman and the things we’ve told him, he’s really happy,” Carr said. “I got my dad a shirt that says Notre Dame Dad, but my grandpa’s is just a Notre Dame shirt.”
It wasn’t easy to make this decision to go elsewhere from the school he grew up around, but Carr wanted to make sure he made his college decision for the right reasons and not just because his family has ties to a program. With his family’s blessing, he found Notre Dame as the top school for him and didn’t waver from that decision.
“Obviously Michigan is going to hold a close place in my heart forever, we’re a Michigan family. Our family foundation is run through Michigan and so Michigan will always hold a close spot in my heart,” Carr said. “But, I’ve never wanted to go to college near my hometown and I wanted to travel a little farther. Notre Dame was the perfect spot for me and I think I have a chance to do something special there with the right people.”