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2018 Senior Bowl player interview: Michigan LB Mike McCray

The Michigan senior patterns his game after Navorro Bowman and Thomas Davis.

During the Senior Bowl, Buffalo Rumblings conducted several interviews with prospects in attendance for the game. One of those prospects was Michigan linebacker Mike McCray. Here’s what he had to say about Jim Harbaugh, the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry, and Mario Kart.

You met with the Bills Monday night?


Did they ask you any interesting questions?

Not really, just to get my background, to see where I’m from, if I had any injuries, games missed, things like that.

Your background’s interesting: Your dad’s a Buckeye, you made the decision to go to Michigan. How did that play out with your family?

My family, they switched right over! They were all supportive. It took a little while for my dad, you know because he went [to Ohio State], he was a captain there. It took a little bit, I mean he supported me from the beginning, but later he was all-in, wore Michigan gear to the games. But he did start talking trash after the bowl games. He told me that he’s going back over to the other side now.

So it’s your job to get to the NFL and show that the Wolverine had the better career then?

Right, exactly, haha!

How’s it been with Coach Harbaugh since he joined? Did he adjust the program, make it a better place for you, whether it was just for the game day prep or preparing to be a pro, how did that turn out?

It’s been great! The year before we went 5-7, and he came in and changed the coaching and the team. When we wanted to work, we wanted to get better, he was on us hard. He came in, I remember spring ball called for four-hour practices. We were like, “four-hour practices? Are you serious?”

He’s like, “Yes.”

So we had 14 four-hour practices, then the spring game. He grinds us out, but I will say he gets us prepared for life, and for the next level, and he’s a great coach overall.

As a linebacker, what do you think your strength is? Do you like blitzing, dropping into coverage, shedding blocks, working on the run?

I feel like I’m pretty versatile, you know. I feel like I can do anything that needs to be done. I have good size, I use my hands well... I just want to showcase my abilities.

Is there any feedback you’ve gotten from your agent or scouts about things you’d need to work on?

Not yet, but I know a few things I need to work on. I know that in the back of my mind.

Anything in particular that you’re training for?

I’d say just working on my speed, trying to get a little faster, being a little more flexible. Working on staying low, because I’m considered a big linebacker. Just little things.

What pros do you like to model your game after?

I like Navorro Bowman, Thomas Davis... David Harris, he’s been in the league for a while. I used to watch Patrick Willis all the time, I mean, I don’t think I’ll be playing like him, but it’s just good to see a great player do some amazing things on the field, learn the things he did.

If you were playing with your friends, which is the better game? Mario Kart or Mario Party?

Mario Kart... It’s gotta be Mario Kart for sure!

Who do you like to play as?

Mario! Mario or Baby Mario!