Michigan football: Get ready for Dylan McCaffrey to thrive under Jim Harbaugh

Dylan McCaffrey, Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Dylan McCaffrey, Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Dylan McCaffrey will tap into his star potential under Jim Harbaugh.

It’s Dylan McCaffrey‘s time to shine for Michigan football.

The junior quarterback from a very important pro football family has patiently waited for his turn to be the Michigan Wolverines’ starting quarterback. The son of three-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver Ed McCaffrey and younger brother of Carolina Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, Dylan McCaffrey is ready to thrive under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

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For the last two years, McCaffrey served as Shea Patterson’s backup in Ann Arbor. While the former Ole Miss Rebels signal-caller had a great deal of promise joining the Wolverines, he never lived up to his five-star hype coming out of high school. With Patterson’s eligibility exhausted, look for McCaffrey to step in and give the Wolverines their best shot at a division crown in some time.

The redshirt junior has two years of eligibility remaining at Michigan. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, McCaffrey has the frame and the NFL pedigree to get serious looks at the next level like his father and older brother did coming out of Stanford University. With only 13 career games worth of reserve experience under his belt, it’s time for McCaffrey to be a difference-maker in Ann Arbor.

Dylan McCaffrey is ready to make his mark with Michigan football.

To date, McCaffrey has only attempted 35 career passes at Michigan during his three years in school. Despite completing only 51.4 percent of his passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns in those games, the promise is real with this younger McCaffrey brother. For whatever reason, he feels like the quarterback Harbaugh will finally get to pop in his Michigan coaching tenure.

Michigan football routinely wins nine or 10 games under Harbaugh but has never played in a conference championship game since he arrived back at his alma mater in 2015. Though Michigan has a tough Week 1 opener at the Washington Huskies in Seattle, the bulk of the Wolverines’ season schedule looks to be relatively navigable, or at least favorable in the eyes of some.

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After the non-conference game at Washington, Michigan gets huge breaks by facing the Wisconsin Badgers and the division rival Penn State Nittany Lions at home in consecutive weeks. Those games won’t be easy, but they’ll give a first-year starting quarterback the best chance at winning either contest.

Though the Wolverines have to play rival Michigan State in East Lansing this year, the Spartans are rebuilding under new head coach Mel Tucker. While road dates at the Minnesota Golden Gophers and at the Ohio State Buckeyes will be challenging, there is a five-week run from late October to late November where the Wolverines can rattle off some wins.

If Michigan goes 9-3 with this regular-season schedule, it would be commendable given who they are playing and the fact the Wolverines are going with a new starting quarterback this year in McCaffrey. Should Michigan overachieve the 9-3 mark and get to 10-2 or 11-1, it will be because McCaffrey is a star in the making in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh’s greatest Michigan quarterback.

Simply put, college football is better when Michigan football is playing well. The Wolverines may not have as great of a history of winning big like rival Ohio State, but seeing them compete in The Game with a chance to win makes us tune in at noon the Saturday after Thanksgiving in great anticipation. McCaffrey is no Justin Fields, but he’s the best Michigan has going forward.

Together, Harbaugh and McCaffrey can bring Michigan football back to national relevancy in 2020.

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