BEAVERTON, Ore. – Playing understaffed, Dylan McCaffrey not only had to learn his offensive playbook on the fly, but his personal as well.
“It was tough,” McCaffrey says. “We certainly had our ups and downs. It was tough getting into a rhythm. I mean, I’m never one for excuses, but we had a lot of guys go down as well, so we had to keep adjusting.”
By adjusting, McCaffrey is referencing the loss of highly touted four-star receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones (hamstring) and Nico Collins (groin), who both happen to be top Michigan targets as well.
Even with loss of two of his top targets, McCaffrey says it was still hard to adjust simply because of the level of athleticism on the field.
“I think was kind of tough adjusting, but a lot of it was just adjusting to these type of athletes too,” McCaffrey says. “I haven’t really played much of this. I mean it was awesome. It was such a good experience to get out here and play with such top athletes. It was fantastic to do that. “
McCaffrey, who starred for team Hypercool, threw for four touchdowns on Sunday, with all four of them being pass completions of 40 yards or more. His deep ball throws were accurate and showed great touch, however, it’s a skill he admits he hasn’t worked on much during his high school career.
“I don’t know, my high school it felt like we marched down the field rather than hitting (the deep ball),” McCaffrey says. “This was a little bit different here. I know we had a couple speedsters on our team. Which made it a little bit easier. I know I usually don’t take that much pride in it, because I am usually not doing it.”
Recruiting for Michigan
Peoples-Jones, who stars at Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech, is one of the top remaining targets on U-M’s big board. And while he didn’t play with McCaffrey this weekend, the future U-M QB says it still was a nice opportunity for the two of them to connect for the first time.
“I definitely wish he could’ve played,” McCaffrey says of Peoples-Jones. “That would’ve been a big game changer. But also getting to know him was fantastic. Again, meeting people for the first time is a big step. You can only talk so much over Twitter. Getting to know him was great, he such a good guy. A guy I would really want to spend my college with.”
Detroit (Mich.) King’s Ambry Thomas also received McCaffrey recruiting push to Michigan.
“Just letting him know we want him a lot,” McCaffrey says of Thomas. “That was a big thing. I got the vibe he was a little questionable ‘do they really want me?’ So I was in his ear a lot. I was like ‘hey, we want you!’ He showed up wearing a Michigan State shirt today, I didn’t like that very much. I told him those colors look ugly on him (laughing).”
Iowa City (Iowa) West Senior 2017 wide receiver Oliver Martin had a nice tournament for Hypercool all weekend. He was on the receiving end of a few McCaffrey passes. Ironically, he received an offer from U-M shortly after the camp ended on Sunday, and McCaffrey made it known he’s recruiting him to U-M.
“One of the guys on my team, Oliver Martin, I know he balled out.” McCaffrey says of Martin. “He had one of the top performances of 7v7, he stepped up big when a lot of our receiver went down. He’s a guy we can continue to talk to. Hopefully we a chance with him as well.”
Next up, McCaffrey says his focus is finishing strong his senior season before enrolling at Michigan next June.
“It never stops,” McCaffrey says. “It’s definitely bittersweet. I love my high school. I love Valor Christian. I’m really sad it’s my last year. But I am also looking forward to the future ahead. My plan is kind of throughout this fall and summer camp, to work on all the things they taught me here. It’s a lot, it’s a fire hose full of information. I’m going to keep working on all of that and trying to build a perfect foundation there. The once I get there, let Harbaugh give me the ins and outs of the quarterback position.”null