Land of 10 has embarked on a series of Next Generation articles, a project that aims to bring our readers greater insight into the class of 2017 signees. Land of 10 Michigan writers Rachel Lenzi and Kevin Goheen are visiting this year’s Michigan incoming class of freshmen to show you more than their 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. Today we visit with QB Dylan McCaffrey of Valor Christian High School outside of Denver.
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. – When it comes to Jim Harbaugh recruiting stories, Dylan McCaffrey’s best one is pretty tame. Still a little unusual, but tame.
McCaffrey’s Valor Christian High School team was set to face Pomona in the Colorado Class 5A state championship game at Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High, a rematch of the previous year’s title game. There was Harbaugh, not just sitting in the stands or in a suite as most college coaches would be at the game, but on the sideline.
It could be a little unnerving for a player to have his future coach watching so closely. That could especially be true if you’re the quarterback of your team. Quarterbacks can’t hide. McCaffrey didn’t feel that way at all, however. He went out and produced 245 total yards and 3 touchdowns in a 30-14 victory.
“Our coach had to pull some strings with CHSAA (Colorado High School Athletic Association) to try to get him on the field, but he was able to get him on the field,” McCaffrey said. “I enjoyed it. I figure if I get nervous playing around him, then it’s going to be a long couple of years in college. Having experienced it was a cool thing.”
McCaffrey has experienced a lot of cool things in his young life, and not all of them have revolved around athletics. The lone quarterback in the 2017 Michigan recruiting class has traveled to Thailand and Nepal in order to expand his faith and world perspective. He’s learned how to play the ukulele and is learning to play the guitar.
Dylan McCaffrey is bringing a lot more than just a strong and accurate right arm, and his family’s famous name, to Ann Arbor.
“I like trying to stay balanced in everything I do,” said McCaffrey as he spoke with Landof10.com in the office of Valor Christian coach Rod Sherman during a visit for our Next Generation series of stories.
Going on Discovery trips to Thailand and Nepal helped bring some of that balance for McCaffrey. The trips aren’t so much “missions” designed to spread the Christian faith as they are designed to expose Valor Christian students to other cultures and help develop their growth on spiritual, emotional and social levels.
I will not have my phone, or any electronics the next two weeks, I am leaving the country on a missions trip, prayers are appreciated!
— Dylan McCaffrey (@dcaf20) March 17, 2017
“Both were amazing experiences and life-changing in the fact that it’s a completely different world out there. Oftentimes we get so caught up in what’s going on in America, and everything, but there are more people in Eastern Asia than there are in America. A ridiculous amount. I think it’s just awesome to see another culture, as well as doing what you can to help out those cultures in smart ways.
“A lot of ministries you’ll see can go and actually hurt, but I think as long as you’re doing it the right way, it can be very rewarding for them and you, as well.”
So proud of you @dcaf20 – named Prep Athlete of the Year by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame! A great acknowledgement of your hard work.
— Ed McCaffrey (@87ed) April 27, 2017
“McCaffrey” is a well-known name in the football world. Dylan’s father, Ed, played 13 seasons in the NFL, playing for three Super Bowl-winning teams while catching 585 passes for 7,422 yards and 55 touchdowns. His mother was a standout soccer player at Stanford, where she met Ed. Dylan’s oldest brother, Max, was a wide receiver at Duke who is now playing with Green Bay. The Carolina Panthers made older brother Christian the No. 8 overall pick in last month’s NFL draft. Younger brother Luke will be a junior next season at Valor and succeed Dylan as quarterback.
“I really don’t think about all that,” McCaffrey said about the family name and notoriety. “I’m just fortunate to have brothers that push me, that make me tougher and better. I don’t think really about what they’ve done. I don’t play football to match them or succeed them, I play because I love the game.”
You can read more about McCaffrey when we profile him in our Next Generation series next month. We’ll find out more about the balance he attempts to live his life with, as well as the dynamics of his famous family that acts anything but famous.
You can read other Michigan Next Generation stories here.