Perhaps the prospect in the Cowboys’ 2018 NFL Draft class that I am most excited about is Michael Gallup. The 81st selection of this year’s draft is an all-around kind of receiver that can play in the slot or out on the outside. He will have the opportunity to come in right away and compete for targets.
Before he became a Biletnikoff Award finalist and a third-round NFL Draft selection, Michael Gallup starred at Butler Community College in Kansas. Gallup immediately became an impact player for the Grizzlies, catching 44 passes for 780 yards and 11 touchdowns during his true freshman season in 2014. An ankle injury limited his 2015 campaign to only four games, but he still received offers from programs such as the Kansas State Wildcats, among others, before signing with the Colorado State Rams in the 2016 recruiting class.
Coach Dale Vogel, the Director of Player Personnel and Dorm Director at Coffeyville Community College and previously the recruiting coordinator at Butler Community College, has seen Michael Gallup grow from a JUCO prospect into one of the elite wide receivers in college football to now a member of America’s Team. BTB had the opportunity to sit down with the man that recruited Gallup to Butler Community College to find out more about the 81st pick in the draft.
What was your first impression of Michael?
Vogel: My first impression of Michael (on the field) was that he is a playmaker. Back in the summer of 2013, we (the Butler staff) were making our recruiting lists and we needed a big time playmaker, a dynamic playmaker. I remember watching his HUDL highlights late one night. His first highlight was him at Wildcat quarterback, then he was making acrobatic catches, and that’s the thing with Mike — he’s a playmaker, man. He’s just a dynamic playmaker.
What was he like during the recruiting process? What made you want to recruit him and bring him into your program?
Vogel: Obviously, on the field it was his talents that made me want to recruit him. What made me want to recruit him off the field, was just his family. His mom, Jenny, is an unbelievable person. He (Michael) is such a good kid, he comes from a good family, and they all love football. I mean, it was just a perfect fit. Football is important to him. He is a guy that I promise you won’t let success go to his head.
What was Michael like at Butler?
Vogel: He was a great kid. I mean, there was coach (Tony) Haynes who was the offensive coordinator at Butler, and he (Michael) came up and he was like ‘Coach, I think I want to move to safety’. Me and coach Haynes laughed to ourselves and told him ‘dude, you’re going to be an NFL receiver, man’.
So, at first it was just him getting comfortable, running the routes, because it was basically an option offense that he ran in high school. Once he got the fundamentals down and learned how to run routes, it was golden. I mean, I believe he scored a touchdown in the first five games that he played in. Like I said, he’s just a natural playmaker.
He’s just scratching the surface. His ceiling is so high. I am excited for what the future holds for that young man.
Is there a “wow” moment that comes to mind?
Vogel: Yeah, I mean, there were a couple — actually, there are three to be honest with you. The first one was when we were playing Iowa Western. Iowa Western was number one in the country, and this was his second college game. It was third-and-four in the fourth quarter and we were driving down to tie the game. He catches a short slant a couple yards short of the first down, and he, like, drags a linebacker and he’s doing everything he can to get extra yards. And I was like ‘this guy has no idea how good he is going to be’. It was his second game, you know, and his natural instincts were taking over.
The second thing is when we were playing Dodge City his freshman year and the dude had like five catches for 288 yards, and three touchdowns and broke the school record at Butler (for receiving yards in a game). He pretty much won the game for us. I mean, the dude is still running; they still haven’t figured out how to cover the kid. We kind of already knew he was special after that game. ‘This cat is different’, you know?
I had a buddy who worked this past year at the University of Wyoming, and he’s watching the Alabama-Colorado State game because Wyoming was getting ready to play Colorado State. He was like ‘hey, the only guy on Colorado State that looks like he belongs on the field with ‘Bama is your boy, Gallup’. Those are the three that come to mind.
What makes Michael Gallup special — on, and off, the field?
Vogel: He is just a good person, and he works hard, and he loves football. It’s pretty simple. Football is important to him and always has been. He is the total package. I mean, Mike is a good person. He is just a regular guy. He’s just a country boy from Georgia. That’s what his mom told me during the recruiting process. She’s like ‘he likes to wear jeans, cutoff t-shirts, and ride on the 4-wheeler’. It’s little things like that. He always has a smile on his face.
You always have kids on your radar (in JUCO) that you think could be NFL guys, but it is rare that you find the total package. A good kid, who is humble, and football is important to him. He went to class. He was always doing the right things. That was never in doubt. It was all about football for Mike. It was all about business and junior college. It was just the way that he was brought up. That’s the stuff that I like about him. He’s the total package. He’s an unbelievable kid.
I’m just the guy that recruited him in JUCO, but he still makes sure to respond to my texts or any time I message him on Instagram or Twitter. You’re a small speck on the radar that helped them, and once they figure it out, they don’t forget you, where they came from, or who they are. That’s the one thing that you appreciate about Mike Gallup. He’s a good dude.
What are the Cowboys getting on the field, and what will he bring to the organization?
Vogel: First off, they’re getting a great person. Like I said, for a guy like who he is and how successful he is — a Biletnikoff Award finalist, first team all-Mountain West, consensus second team All-American, all that good stuff. But, he’s a good kid, man. He’s humble. He’s a good person, he’s a good teammate, he is the kind of guy you want in your locker room.
And in clutch time, man, and when it is time to make those plays across the middle, Mike Gallup is going to do that. I promise you that. That’s why I was so excited (when the Cowboys drafted Gallup). Dallas needs a dynamic playmaker, and I think Mike fits that perfectly.