Luke McCaffrey knows he’s in an interesting position heading into his junior season.
The four-star prospect from Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian already holds a handful of big-time scholarship offers, but has yet to fully prove himself at his preferred position. That’s something he hopes to change this fall.
“I haven’t played quarterback full-time yet, so that’s one thing I have to work through for sure,” McCaffrey told Scout.com recently.
McCaffrey, like his brothers Max (Duke), Christian (Stanford) and Dylan (Michigan) before him, is regarded as one of the top athletes in the state of Colorado in his class. He filled a variety of roles as a sophomore last year, oftentimes being on the receiving end of passes from Dylan, and he proved to be an effective ball carrier out of the back field, too. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect has very good mobility and does well to pick up the extra yards after contact.
On the recruiting front, McCaffrey visited several schools over the last few months and now sets his sights on making some in-season trips to check out programs on the field.
McCaffrey most recently stopped by Ohio State for the Friday Night Lights camp and also visited Michigan — two programs that have already offered.
“I can’t say I haven’t thought about playing with Dylan at the next level and it’s definitely something to look at, but I’ve also thought about doing my own thing,” McCaffrey said. “There will be pros and cons no matter where I go. I know Dylan will support me wherever I go.”
UCLA is an interesting suitor in the race. The Bruins’ new offensive coordinator, Jedd Fisch, recruited Dylan McCaffrey when he was at Michigan, so that pre-existing relationship has facilitated the process. UCLA extended a scholarship offer to McCaffrey in February and drew a visit two months later.
“I like them a lot,” McCaffrey said. “I have nothing but great things to say about coach Fisch and the school. Everything around there is great. I took the visit in April and it was just awesome seeing everything. It’s a great environment and I like California and that whole L.A. area. You can tell the coaches care a lot and that’s a big thing for me.
“Coach Fisch did clarify that he wants me at QB, which obviously is an appealing thing for me. I really appreciated him letting me know about the offense and where I would fit in the future. I also had some good conversations with coach (Jim) Mora. It was a lot of getting-to-know-me stuff, not as much football, but I know coach Fisch has a great hold of the offense so we were able to break it down schematically. It’s definitely a school I want to get out to during the season.”
McCaffrey also made it out to Notre Dame in the spring and, although the Fighting Irish have yet to offer and already landed a commitment from a 2019 quarterback, he said South Bend caught his attention.
“The environment at Notre Dame was incredible and it’s a great school both academically and athletically,” he said. “It seemed like a great community in a smaller college town and it’s a school I really liked. There is a spirit there and a vibe around campus that you can feel.”
The next step, McCaffrey said, is sorting through possible visits. Michigan, Ohio State and UCLA are probably in good shape to draw a look. Washington, which offered in late April, could also be another possibility but, like Notre Dame, has already picked up a commitment from a quarterback in the 2019 class.
“I know all of my brothers committed after their junior seasons, so it would be nice to do the same and just enjoy my senior season,” McCaffrey said. “I’m at a point right now where I like a lot of the schools, so I’m hoping to narrow it down further later on.
“I talked to Dylan quite a bit and right now I’m 100 percent dedicated to the competition [at Valor] and I want to earn the chance to earn reps at QB. Blake (Stenstrom) is one of my buddies and I know when it comes down to it, we both want what’s best for the team.”
McCaffrey was credited with 47 receptions for 717 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore last season. He also carried the ball 23 times for 245 yards and two more scores, and completed five of his seven pass attempts while tacking on 42 total tackles on the defensive side to help Valor Christian capture the state championship.