First off, Max Borghi has a fairly unique skill set... what has it been like to coach him?
Coach Jay Madden: "He is a once in a lifetime kind of kid. He has some natural ability that you just can't teach and he just keeps getting better and better. The best thing about him is his work ethic and his desire to get better and not just get satisfied. It has been really fun to be around."
Did you know the first time you saw him in a practice or a workout that he had those special qualities or was there a moment early in his prep career where that showed?
"His speed was obviously the first thing that made him stand out. I have never had a kid as fast as him... ever, anywhere. And with his ability to stop and change directions was pretty obviously early on. We knew he would probably be a varsity player as a freshman but we tried to hold off. We made it four weeks before we finally brought him and when he scored five touchdowns in his first varsity game, I think we knew we had something pretty special."
Being a versatile offensive threat and being from Colorado, Borghi can't really avoid the Christian McCaffrey comparison. Do you feel that is something that can fuel him because people are putting those high expectations on him, or is that not a fair comparison?
"I do think he has a lot of the same attributes as Christian McCaffrey. Christian is a little bit more of a patient runner. That is something he does so well. Max is full throttle all the time. We need to get him to slow down a little bit sometimes. That might be the only thing he needs to work on is his patience. But as far as their explosiveness and their ability to catch the ball and change directions and returns punt and kicks... they are very, very similar athletes. And the fact Max is going to end up in the Pac-12 just like McCaffrey did, those comparisons are going to hopefully stay that way for a long time because that would mean Max is playing really well."
Borghi is put together well but he is a short back... did he catch a lot of people off guard early during his prep career?
"(Laughing) No, Max has been making plays for a long time. People in our area have known about him since he was seven years old. And he is up to 190-pounds now so he is a put together kid. He is over 5-foot-9 now. We're hoping he gets as tall as his older brother, who is 6-foot-1. He still has some growing to go."
Is there anything specific you'd like to see him improve on during his senior year?
"He is going to touch the ball a lot more senior year so we are going to rely on him a little bit more. He is going to have learn some patience, not just to go flying in there 1,000 miles an hour, let our linemen get their blocks. It can be hard to tell him, 'Hey, slow down,' when he is running into the end zone, but we just need to get him to be a little more patient. Other than that, we just want him to be a good leader and keep working hard."
Borghi said his recovery from the torn ACL is coming along as well as could be expected at this time...
"Absolutely, they are kind of putting the breaks on him because he feels so good and he wants to get going. They have been telling him to be patient. So yeah, everything has gone well."
Since Borghi committed to Colorado, he has added offers from Cal, Utah, Washington State, and it sounds like more schools might offer during the spring evaluation period. How do you approach that as his coach?
"I think CU has always kind of been the place he wanted to be. You'd like kids to be able to go out and experience their five trips but that stuff just doesn't happen anymore. Everything has been sped up. But it is still nice that other schools are out there chasing him. I know he got offered by Louisville, too, a couple weeks ago. He can play anywhere. He is going to be a great player at CU, and they got themselves a heck of a kid."
You got robbed of one season with Jake Moretti there at Pomona last fall... are you anxious to watch Borghi run behind Moretti and Dillon Middlemiss blocks in the future?
"Yeah, it is going to be a lot of fun. After Max goes up there, we'll have two offensive linemen and a running back so it'll be fun to go up there and watch them."