No shortage of football talent at Valor Christian
Valor Christian’s Rod Sherman has a decision on his hands, and it’s one any prep football coach would love to grapple with: Which Division I prospect should he start at quarterback?
In a program that’s been to eight consecutive state championship games since 2007, won seven of them and is the twotime defending Class 5A champion, success has become a routine. And after the graduation of University of Michiganbound gunslinger Dylan Mccaffrey, the Eagles are more than capable of a threepeat with senior Blake Stenstrom or junior Luke Mccaffrey, Dylan’s brother, running the offense.
Both are destined to play big-time college football — Stenstrom is committed to the University of Colorado, while Mccaffrey has offers from a boatload of powerhouse programs such as Ohio State, Michigan and Washington. They are sons of former pros — Steve Stenstrom was a quarterback for five seasons in the NFL, while Ed Mccaffrey was a Broncos star at wide receiver who needs no introduction here.
And both are athletes who would no doubt easily win the starting job in just about every other program in the state.
“Blake and Luke are unbelievable kids who have worked hard to master our system, and they have a very high football IQ and are well-respected by their teammates for their work ethic and their character,” Sherman said. “These guys come to practice every day and compete with each other, so we’ll see what happens.”
Stenstrom saw action behind Dylan Mccaffrey last season, posting a 105.7 quarterback rating while throwing for 500 yards and seven touchdowns.
But his ability extends beyond dropbacks and arm strength, facets of the game that the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Stenstrom excelled in during camps this summer, including the recent Blue-grey All-american Combine.
“For him to be called a pocket passer, I think is a little derogatory because his athleticism is so underrated,” Sherman said. “He has an unbelievable future at CU, and he can really sling it around well. But his athleticism will show again this year as it did last year, when he was our third-leading rusher.”
As for the youngest Mccaffrey — who is following in the large footsteps of older brothers Max (Duke/green Bay Packers), Christian (Stanford/carolina Panthers) and Dylan — the 6-2, 180-pounder is eager to prove the skills he displayed last season at wideout, cornerback and returner can translate to the quarterback position.
“Luke is so athletic that I think most people think, ‘He’s going to be a spread quarterback that can’t get under center,’ and that’s just not the case,” Sherman said. “He’s gotten valuable experience this summer getting us up to the line and getting us in the right play call, and knowing when to trust his athleticism and when to trust his arm.”
And with other key offensive players such as junior running back Joshia Davis, senior running back Jadin Watson, senior wideout Ryan Thibault and senior tight end Ben Anderson — not to mention an offensive line that returns eight of its top nine players from last season — Valor Christian will no doubt be in the title discussion once again come November.
Whether the Eagles’ offense will be quarterbacked by Stenstrom or Mccaffrey remains to be seen on a team laden with looming showdowns for starting positions on both sides of the ball.
“As a staff, we’ve talked to the guys a lot about what true competition is, and if we could approach competition as ‘We’re going to make each other better, and I’m thankful we get to compete against players every day that are going to benefit me in the long term,’ ” Sherman said. “But there’s no specific timeline on those (starting lineup) decisions.”
Luke Mccaffrey, a junior quarterback at Valor Christian, has been offered a scholarship by Ohio State, Michigan and Washington.
Valor Christian’s Cu-bound Blake Stenstrom, a senior practicing handoffs last week, is the son of a former NFL quarterback.