In-Depth with Christian McCaffrey (Part 1)

Michigan has recruited Colorado aggressively in recent years, and one of the Wolverines' top Rocky Mountain State targets in 2014 in Highland Ranch Valor Christian RB/WR Christian McCaffrey. In part one of GoBlueWolverine's chat with the explosive youngster he sheds light on his game, his Michigan recruitment, his thoughts on the Maize & Blue coaching staff, and more.

Sam Webb: How did things go for you on the football field last year?

Christian McCaffrey: “It went well. We had a really good season, ended up winning state. Started off slow, with two losses, but pretty new team, so adjusted quickly from that, and then it was a win ever since, but it was pretty good. I think I had a pretty successful season.”

Sam Webb: Do you remember what your individual stats were?

Christian McCaffrey: “I think I had 2,500 yards, and 42 touchdowns.”

Sam Webb: What’s your height, your weight, and your 40 time?

Christian McCaffrey: “6’0”, 193-lbs right now, and right at a low 4.4, but I haven’t run one in a while, so I’m hoping in can maybe crack that, but right now that’s where it’s at.”

Sam Webb: For people who haven’t seen you play, pretend for a second that you’re a scout or a coach, and you’re watching Christian McCaffrey on the football field. Tell me what you see. Kind of break down your game for me.

Christian McCaffrey: “I’d say good at using quickness and speed to get to the edge, and find open holes, has good vision, and can make people miss in the open field, and has good breakaway speed. Could work on running between the tackles, and lowering his shoulder, and getting a couple extra yards, but all in all a good, more of a speed back.”

Sam Webb: As far as comparisons, is there a player in college or the pros that people kind of compare you to?

Christian McCaffrey: “I’ve heard people say that I’m kind of like Jamal Charles, as far as the style of running back, but I’m not really sure. That’s the only thing I’ve heard so far.”

Sam Webb: Now some stories list you as a receiver prospect, while others list you as a tailback. What are most schools recruiting you as?

Christian McCaffrey: “Most schools are recruiting me as a tailback. Kind of a speed back, like I said, who can catch screen passes, get sweeps, tosses, counter, stuff like that, that’s most schools, but a couple schools are looking at me at receiver.”

Sam Webb: As far as Michigan is concerned, when did they start recruiting you? When did that kind of pick up steam?

Christian McCaffrey: “I met Coach Funk my sophomore year. I know the rules are super heavy, so it wasn’t really a conversation, it was more of a ‘hey, how’s it going, good to see you’ kind of thing’ because the coaches aren’t really allowed to converse a whole lot with the players until a certain date… but my coach started talking to the Michigan coaches a little bit about me and he told them I’m definitely interested.  He sent them my film and they offered.  That was the most communication I think we’ve had between me and the Michigan coaches.”

Sam Webb: When is the last time Coach Funk came by?

Christian McCaffrey: “I think sometime during the season, or before the season, but just a little stop in.”

Sam Webb: As far as your phone interaction, and kind of your non-personal interaction, what have your impressions been of Coach Funk?

Christian McCaffrey: “I talked to the head coach for a little bit too, and they’re definitely awesome people. Very honest, which is definitely a plus as far as recruiting. I really like that about them, but, awesome people, definitely high character, and obviously they’re doing something right as far as football, but they seem like really honest and respectful people, and definitely awesome people that I’d like to get to know a little  better.”

Sam Webb: So you said most schools are recruiting you as a speed back. Has Michigan specified if that’s where they’re recruiting you?

Christian McCaffrey: “They’re recruiting me for slot receiver. They’re one of the schools that are recruiting me for receiver.”

Sam Webb: Do you have a positional preference? I mean, do you prefer to be a tailback in college? Is receiver something that you’re open to? Kind of where do you stand with that?

Christian McCaffrey: “I consider myself as a football player, so wherever I can contribute to help my team, wherever the coach puts me, I just love to play football.  Whether it’s on defense or offense, safety, running back, receiver, I just want to play football, so I think the main factor would be what school I could see myself living at and Michigan is definitely one of those schools. I don’t know if I necessarily have a preference.”

Sam Webb: So just in general, what do you know about Michigan at this point?

Christian McCaffrey: “A little bit. A kid that we knew named Stevie Watson, his dad coached my dad, with the Broncos, went to Michigan to play tight end, or I think they moved him to outside linebacker or something, but heard awesome things from him, but all the people I talk to who have affiliations with Michigan, I’ve only heard good things about it, so I definitely knew I wanted to consider Michigan.”

Sam Webb: You kind of gave me an idea of what you know about Michigan at this early point, but just from afar, whether it’s talking to Coach Funk, or what you’ve seen on TV, what would you say you like about Michigan at this point, and what would you say you really want to find out about Michigan?

Christian McCaffrey: “I think I definitely like the intensity they play with, and the college atmosphere that Michigan brings. One of the main likes about Michigan as far as my standpoint is the academic programs, and they’re academic success, as well as their success on the football field, that’s definitely something I take pride in, something I look at. Things that I would like to know about, not a whole lot. Probably just get a glimpse of the school and campus, and the people that are there. There’s not a whole lot I’m wondering about though.”

Stay tuned for part two during which McCaffrey discusses the challenges that come with being the some of a former pro, his decision timetable, the factors that will weigh most prominently in his college choice, and more.

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