Story by Eugene Hankerson
The curious case of where Michigan commitment Dylan McCaffrey was during day one of practice has been solved. His notable absence from the West practice on Monday can easily be explained.
“I won a community award back in my hometown of Colorado," McCaffrey said. "I had to stay back for that. The award was given during halftime of the Denver Broncos game, so I had to stay there and receive that humbly, and flew back out here as soon as I could”.
What exactly was he recognized for?
“It’s named the golden helmet award in Colorado” McCaffrey explained. “It’s given every year. It’s really a football, academic and service award. They try to pick someone that embodies all those things, I know the year before it was Carlo Kemp and other Michigan players. It’s a great award and I’m very honored to receive it.”
Upon arrival, McCaffrey was given his gear and playbook to have him ready to hit the practice field on Tuesday.
“It was good, it was a little weird just getting thrown in with everyone else knowing the plays and I didn’t," he said. "It was still fun. I think all the concepts are basic football concepts so it’s all right. There is plenty of room for improvement but I love the guys I’m playing with, they’re awesome. I love what the team looks like.”
The West team has four Michigan recruiting targets on the roster. Fans of the Maize and Blue are left wondering if the future signal caller has been able to develop a connection with any of those players.
“I’m working on it,” McCaffrey exclaimed. “It’s unfortunate that most of the Michigan commits are on the East team. There are some targets on the West, I’m talking to everyone.”
A picture from practice surfaced on twitter showing a play in which McCaffrey and running back Najee Harris were in the same backfield.
Was it foreshadowing?
“I’m hoping that can be the future," he admitted. "We’re working on it, well ultimately. It’s his decision and whatever fits him best, but I’m definitely trying to show him all the benefits of going to Michigan”.
Spending the week playing against the top players in the country is a great way to prepare for college football.
“I’m adjusting to the speed of the game, I know I’ll get plenty of that (sped up) when I get out there (to Michigan). It’s a great opportunity. It’s just an honor to play in a game that means so much more than just football. You look around and there’s military everywhere. It really is a cool game, and very humbling.”
The McCaffrey family has incredible football legacy. Sometimes the pressure of living up to that standard are difficult to deal with. It sounds like that won’t be an issue for Dylan.
“Frankly, I don’t feel much pressure when it comes to that (family). I definitely want to play well, but that’s because it’s kind of what I want to do. It’s (pressure) not coming from them, it’s coming from myself. My family is just happy I’m here. I know Christian didn’t get all the looks he wanted like playing in this game, so I’m just trying to enjoy it”.
The news began to break on Monday that Michigan pass game coordinator Jedd Fisch was leaving to become the offensive coordinator at UCLA. Fisch and McCaffrey had developed a great relationship, one that will be missed.
“It definitely bums me out since coach Fisch was the main person that recruited me," he said. "He’s a great guy, I’m just bummed out to lose a great friend. I’m really happy for him and think he’s got a good gig there. I do trust Harbaugh and Drevno, that they’ll bring in someone that knows what they’re doing and will help me just like they always do. You know there always going to bring in a top notch guy. I’m not too worried about it, it’s just a sad moment."