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'It's awesome': All-football family keeps Michigan's Dylan McCaffrey sharp during shutdown

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

It hasn’t been difficult for Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey to stay sharp while home in Colorado during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After all, he is working out with his father, Ed, a longtime Denver Broncos receiver and Super Bowl champion and now the head coach at Northern Colorado; brother Christian, the Carolina Panthers’ All-Pro running back; and younger brother, Luke, a sophomore quarterback at Nebraska.

Dylan McCaffrey

In an ESPN.com story about Christian McCaffrey, reporter David Newton got some insight from Dylan, a Michigan junior, into how they’re all staying in football shape. The brothers work out daily at a park next to their home, and Ed McCaffrey will run routes for Dylan and Luke.

"It's awesome," Dylan told ESPN.com in a story published this week. "It allows me to train at the highest level I possibly can, which is tough for a lot of people during this time."

The family clearly has benefited from being together.

"It's provided us with a good situation for the time, even though each one of us would love to be with our teammates," Dylan said. "Never in a million years would we have come home for this long and have the opportunity to do this if the world wasn't, unfortunately, the way it is right now.

"I don't know if we have all sat down and focused on football like this, probably ever."

They often break down film together and share opinions, but that sharing stops when it comes to their individual team virtual meetings and playbooks.

"A little hesitant to just dish that out," Dylan told ESPN.com. "I'll give my dad a few golden plays every now and then, but it's almost like a sacred text between buildings. You don't do that very much."

More: Michigan doctor huddles with Big Ten task force on best prescription to kick off amid pandemic

Ed McCaffrey keeps the competition high between the quarterback brothers, Dylan and Luke. He has them throw from different distances into a garbage can.

"When (Luke) won, I don't know if I spoke to him about it the rest of the day," Dylan said.

This time away from Michigan, away from an important spring practice period that would have given McCaffrey and Joe Milton a chance to hone their knowledge of the offense as they compete to replace Shea Patterson, the starter the last two seasons, has offered perspective.

“It's unfortunate, it's a negative circumstance," Dylan said. "However, it definitely paints a picture of what's really, truly important in life and what would hurt you if you lost something right now. It would be the people you love."