Versatility is the name of the game for Trotwood (OH) Madison LB Mike McCray. Coach Maurice Douglas has had his fair share of standout athletes during his time as headman, but the leader of the state champion Rams insists that McCray unquestionably ranks among the best he has ever had. And apparently that isn’t just based on the youngster’s physical talent, he also reportedly the type of football I.Q. that coaches love.
“Mike is a big kid with a very strong knowledge base with his dad having played the linebacker position at Ohio State and being the captain there (in 1987),” said Douglas. “He has got a tremendous knowledge base on him. He takes film home and he’ll bring you back a breakdown on the film. He just has a real good understanding of the game as a whole. He knows all of the linebacker spots. We could play him at safety… we could play him anywhere we need to because he has good range and he can get to any ball out there.”
“On offense he plays tight end, and he plays like Shannon Sharpe for us. We have him unattached a lot when we go four wide. He is our inside guy in that four-wide set. He had 25 receptions for over 500 yards and he had 13 touchdowns on offense. Then on defense he had 132 tackles, five interceptions… three he ran back for touchdowns… he had two caused fumbles, one fumble recovery, and a blocked punt for a touchdown. So he can do just about anything. Some people have been questioning where to play him at on the next level. On the next level he is a linebacker! He is going to be a big linebacker that can run.”
How big and how fast, you ask?
“He is 6-3, 235…. 230 really because baseball just started up for him and he is a very good baseball player,” replied Douglas. “In the forty runs between a 4.56 and a 4.63.”
Numbers like that explain the 20+ offers he has accumulated to date. They also explain why most of those suitors were likely disappointed when he narrowed his list to Arizona, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina and Illinois earlier this week. Those programs are jockeying for position in the final days leading up to his decision, and Michigan will have the last chance to do so when he visits Ann Arbor next week.
“He is still going to visit Michigan on the 6th,” Douglas reported. “Michigan has a strong chance at landing him. He likes Michigan, but he also likes Oklahoma a lot. He also likes Tennessee an awful lot. He was up to Illinois this past weekend and had a good visit there. He is going to Tennessee (Saturday). But his mom and dad haven’t been to Michigan… and that’s the only institution they haven’t visited. I’m interested to see what his decision is going to come out to be."
As it turns out, Douglas may not have to wait as long as previously anticipated to hear the final verdict.
“He was going to do (make his announcement) at the school (on March 8th,” said Douglas. “I’m going to text everybody and let them know he is just going to make his announcement by calling the coaches. He is not going to do (a press conference) now. He is not that guy. He thought he had to do that, and that that was just part of it. We cleared that up with him… that you don’t have to do that. He said he would rather just talk to the coach and let them know, and then he’ll talk to reporters on the phone after that. It could still be on the 8th, but he said he might do it on Wednesday (March 7th). He might tell the team on Wednesday, and then notify everyone covering it.”
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on McCray in the days to come.