The McCall connection

Northwestern offensive coordinator Mick McCall took a circuitous route to Northwestern. Among his many stops was Mullen High School in Denver, where he led the Mustangs to a Colorado state football title before coming – eventually – to Northwestern. Lo and behold, McCall might not be the last one to trek from Mullen to Northwestern.

Northwestern offensive coordinator Mick McCall took a circuitous route to Northwestern. Among his many stops was Mullen High School in Denver, where he led the Mustangs to a Colorado state football title before coming – eventually – to Northwestern.

Lo and behold, McCall might not be the last one to trek from Mullen to Northwestern.

Four-star running back Adonis Ameen-Moore confirmed to Purple Reign on Friday that Northwestern had offered him a scholarship. The verbal offer came at the end of last week, and the paperwork arrived in the mail Thursday.

"I was thinking I'd like to go south or go out west," said Ameen-Moore, who Scout ranks as the No. 23 running back in the 2011 class. "But getting an offer from Northwestern changes things. I wasn't thinking about the Big Ten because I don't like the cold. But now I'm gonna have to rethink everything."

Ameen-Moore said that he met McCall after the Mustangs' 2009 state championship. McCall handed Ameen-Moore his card, and the two have been in touch since, developing what Ameen-Moore called "a pretty good relationship."

The 6-foot, 215-pound Ameen-Moore currently holds offers from Northwestern, Colorado and Colorado State. Ameen-Moore says that he is also interested in Washington and Nebraska although, despite a recent trip to Lincoln, he doesn't anticipate a Nebraska offer.

That Northwestern is just the third school to offer – and first from outside the state – could be a result of McCall's ties to Colorado in general, and Mullen in particular, where he coached for 10 years from 1991-2000.

"That's real cool to me," Ameen-Moore said of McCall's local history. "We know the same things, he knows what's going on at Mullen. He's a dude from Colorado, so he's always looking out for Colorado players. That's a big plus right there."

McCall graduated from Southern Colorado in 1978, where he was a two-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference player. He coach at Southern Colorado for the next five years, leaving to become the running backs and tight ends coach at Idaho State. He then coached at Oregon State from 1988 to 1990.

Next, from 1991-2000, McCall was at Mullen. Northwestern fans will be none to surprised to see that McCall's Mullen teams liked to chuck the ball through the air. In 1996, Mullen posted the 10th-most passing yards in Colorado high school football history with 2,838. That same year, Mullen had the ninth-most completions in the history of the Centennial State. One more: two Mullen quarterbacks who played under McCall rank in the top 10 in the history of Colorado for pass attempts – Ryan Clement (1990-93) and Hi Lewis (1993-94). Is it any surprise that Northwestern has been in the top two in the Big Ten in attempts in each of McCall's two seasons as offensive coordinator? Or that Mike Kafka's career climaxed with a game in which he attempted and completed the second-most passes in Big Ten history?

After Mullen, McCall spent two years at Wyoming and then went to Bowling Green until 2007. He took over O-coordinator duties for NU in 2008.

But it's not just McCall's Rocky Mountain ties that have Ameen-Moore interested in Northwestern.

"They've got a great program up there," Ameen-Moore said. "They're on the rise. Coach Fitzgerald is obviously doing something up there – back to back bowls games. It's definitely a great program."

And a great school, Ameen-Moore said.

"If the whole football thing doesn't work out, it doesn't matter if you got a Northwestern degree. That's looks good on your résumé. That's all you need."

Ameen-Moore is in no hurry to commit. He said he is going to sit tight and see who else offers, possibly waiting until the end of 2010 to pull the trigger. And coming off a junior season in which he rushed for more than 1,600 yards scored 22 touchdowns, there's reason to think more offers will be coming. But he added that he, his dad and McCall are going to try to set up a trip to Evanston.

When he arrives, there will be a "dude from Colorado" waiting for him.

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