Former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Dylan McCaffrey announced his transfer to Northern Colorado in late January in a move that sees him going back home to finish his college career. He will be playing for his father, former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, in his next destination. The elder McCaffrey recently discussed the process that led him from Michigan to Greely, Colorado.
“You’re just faced with a decision to make, ‘Hey, this hasn’t played out the way I thought. What next?’” McCaffrey said during a virtual press conference last week. “So that’s what a lot of players on our team, including Dylan, have gone through — an experience like that, where a lot of the reasons they went there originally are no longer there. He absolutely loves some of his friends he made at Michigan. He’ll have those friends for a lifetime. He came to UNC to get on the field to play.”
It was not as simple as leaving town and immediately committing to play for his father. Ed McCaffrey said that multiple schools checked in before Dylan decided to pull the trigger on Northern Colorado.
“I let the offers come in and let the coaches call him. Then I would ask him how these conversations went and I pretty much stayed out of it,” McCaffrey said. “As the weeks went by, I asked him who he was thinking about and talked through it with him. Just make sure again, like coming out of high school, that he was asking all the right questions and looking at their roster and looking at who they’re bringing in.
“I admit, he had some pretty good options. I’m absolutely thrilled, on his own, he decided this was the best option.”
McCaffrey was hired in Dec. 2019 to take over the Northern Colorado football program at the FCS level of the sport. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, his debut has had to wait until the spring. However, he still made sure he was a dad first when steering through another recruitment of one of his sons.
“You absolutely have to know when to take your coach’s hat off and be a dad,” the father said. “I’m always going to be a dad first.”
McCaffrey was a four-star prospect, the fifth-ranked pro-style quarterback, and the No. 123 player in the country in the 2017 class.
McCaffrey and Joe Milton battled throughout the offseason for the starting quarterback job heading into 2020. Things took a turn in the fall when Milton had surpassed him and Cade McNamara began to ascend, as well. He would opt out in the weeks leading up to the season after the Big Ten announced that it would return. Given that McNamara and Milton are still on the roster and five-star J.J. McCarthy is now on campus, it made sense to seek other opportunities.