The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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10 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2018   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS Michigan redshirt freshman quarter- back Dylan McCaffrey has been praised for his leadership skills, and he had a good spring. He talks about the quar- terback competition and more in this month's Q&A: The Wolverine: What's the difference between this year and last, heading into your second year as a Michigan quar- terback? Dylan McCaffrey: "I feel a lot more comfortable with the offense, as anyone would after a year of experience. So I think that's really helped me a lot. "I've gained some weight [to 210 pounds from 195]. I feel like I've gotten athletically better, and I think it's really that I know my teammates — who I'm throwing to, what guy's going to give me what. That really helps a quarter- back." The Wolverine: Your dad, Ed, played several years in the NFL, and you've watched your brother Christian at Stan- ford and now at Carolina in the NFL. Does being from a football family like that give you an edge over others? McCaffrey: "I like to think so. Just watching football … I think it helps more situationally, because I've seen just about every football situation there can be in my lifetime because I've watched so much, seen so much." The Wolverine: What was your reac- tion to junior quarterback Shea Patter- son's transfer in from Ole Miss? McCaffrey: "No matter where you go they're going to have other guys. Any good school you want to go to is going to have the No. 1 guy or No. 2 guy in the class before you. "I knew I'd have to compete anywhere." The Wolverine: You earned praise from the coaches for your work running the scout team last year. How did that expe- rience help prepare you for the competi- tion this year? McCaffrey: "It was awesome. You take any advantage to get as many reps as you can against the best defense in the country. It was great. It got you mak- ing quick decisions; it kept you really alert and let you know how fast college football is. "… It's a huge thing to face our de- fense. They're amazing, and you get to play against the best defense in the country every single day. That's some- thing you have to take advantage of if you want to make it." The Wolverine: Word has it freshman quarterback Joe Milton can throw 85 yards in the air. Is that true, and what's your longest? McCaffrey: "He can. I have [seen it]. I can throw the ball far enough. If you get the ball out on time, you're good." — Chris Balas McCaffrey received U-M's 2017 Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year award. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Sitting Down With Michigan Quarterback Dylan McCaffrey Based on a compilation of team recruiting rankings over the last five years, Michigan enters the season with the third most talented roster in the Big Ten. Not surprisingly, Ohio State leads the way by a fairly wide margin over Penn State, the other team ahead of the Wolverines. U-M was trending up before last season's 8-5 finish, and the subsequent drop in the recruiting rankings left it in third, just ahead of rival Michigan State. Based on its rank and overall record, Wisconsin does the best job of winning with less. The Badgers (45-10 the last four years) have just four fewer wins than the Buckeyes (49-6) despite their average recruiting class (35.8) being 32 spots worse (OSU's average class ranking is 3.8). Michigan State, Iowa and Northwestern also do well compared to their respective recruiting rankings. U-M is sixth in the conference in overall wins over the last four seasons with 33, despite being third in the recruiting rank- ings with an average class of 22.4. — Andrew Vailliencourt U-M's Football Roster Is Among The Most Talented In The Big Ten THE BIG TEN'S MOST TALENTED FOOTBALL ROSTERS BASED ON RECRUITING Rivals National Ranking 2014-17 Big Ten Rk. School 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 Avg. Overall Rec. Record 1. Ohio State 2 2 3 9 3 3.8 49-6 31-3 2. Penn State 5 12 21 15 24 15.4 36-17 21-13 3. Michigan 24 4 4 49 31 22.4 33-18 21-13 4. Michigan State 26 33 18 22 22 24.2 36-16 22-12 5. Nebraska 21 20 24 31 32 25.6 28-23 17-17 6. Wisconsin 39 35 35 37 33 35.8 45-10 29-5 7. Maryland 29 17 39 54 53 38.4 20-30 10-24 8. Iowa 39 40 42 58 59 47.6 35-18 22-12 9. Indiana 45 65 54 48 38 50.0 21-29 9-25 10. Minnesota 43 56 50 52 52 50.6 28-23 14-20 11. Northwestern 59 55 46 55 67 56.4 32-19 21-13 12. Illinois 50 48 67 44 74 56.6 16-33 7-27 13. Rutgers 57 43 78 53 57 57.6 18-31 7-27 14. Purdue 49 68 73 68 71 65.8 15-34 7-27

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