Michigan lands 'real gem' in 4-star QB Dylan McCaffrey

By Neil H. Devlin
Denver Post
Dylan McCaffrey

Highlands Ranch, Colo. -- Toward the end of the football season, Dylan McCaffrey said he and his family "found ourselves rooting for Michigan."

It wasn't to be taken lightly. His parents, Lisa and Ed (a former Broncos star at wide receiver), were athletes at Stanford. His oldest brother, Max, was a wide receiver at Duke and another brother, Christian, was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2015 as a record-setting all-purpose back for Stanford.

And while on the recruiting trail, Dylan McCaffrey, a junior at Valor Christian High School, said "I never met anyone who had anything bad to say about Michigan."

So he announced Monday that he has chosen the Wolverines as his rock-solid commitment, a high-end destination for one  of the nation's top pocket passers for the 2017 recruiting class.

Second-year Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who quickly restored the buzz in Wolverines football, has struck again.

"It's a great fit," the 6-foot-5, 210-pound McCaffrey told the Denver Post. "(Harbaugh) is a great guy. He's definitely out there. Say whatever you want, but it's all in the best way and you have to say he's a football genius. I know he's a competitor, and I like to think I am."

McCaffrey, rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com, also had offers from UCLA, LSU, Washington, Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, and many others. He is also rated the No. 39 prospect overall for 2017 on the Scout 300.

Valor Christian coach Rod Sherman has watched McCaffrey start 28 games for the Eagles.

"You could hear the excitement in his voice," Sherman said. "If you saw the championship game, you can see that he can play and, quite frankly, will get better."

In football with him in command, Valor is 22-6 (9-1 in the playoffs). Valor won the Class 5A state title in 2015 (its sixth in seven years). He has passed for 6,056 yards and 68 touchdowns over two seasons.

McCaffrey's pledge to sign with Michigan, Sherman said, carries weight because "he's an important domino in the national quarterback ratings. His will have influence."

Admitting "it got a little crazy after signing day," McCaffrey said "it was still fun" and now the rest of Michigan's 2017 class can take shape. And he can enjoy the rest of his time as a high school student. "I was willing to wait, but wanted to do it early," he said.

McCaffrey's coach wasn't surprised.

"He could have waited and made it a big deal, but that's not who he is and not how the family operates," Sherman said. "His humility would not allow him to take away from the seniors."

McCaffrey, who has a 3.8 GPA, said his parents are thrilled that he will attend one of the nation's top public universities.

Fairview linebacker Carlo Kemp enrolled early at Michigan last month, and Pomona junior Jake Moretti is pledged to Ohio State.

"I was hoping as a former (Buffalo) he'd be heading to Boulder (and CU)," Cherry Creek coach Dave Logan, whose team is 2-2 against Valor over 2014-15, said of McCaffrey. "He's a terrific player and young man, and Michigan has itself a real gem."