Who is Michael Gallup?

GALLOP [verb] - (of a process or time) progress rapidly in a seemingly uncontrollable manner.

   For the past two college football seasons, Fort Collins, Colorado has played host to one of the top players in the country; at least in my opinion that is the case. He was born March 4, 1996. Originally from Monroe, Georgia, where he played football at Monroe Area High School, Michael Gallup wasn’t highly sought after in the world of recruiting.

   Coming out of high school, 247sports had Gallup pegged as a three-star prospect and the 192nd wide receiver in the class of 2014. An article from 'The Collegian' (written by Eddie Herz) states that Gallup went from being indecisive on what sport to pursue coming out of high school to what position would suit him best in football. Accompanying football, Gallup played baseball [centerfield], basketball [point guard] and ran track [4x4, 4x1, High Jump] for Monroe Area High. His high school football coach, Matt Fligg, was quoted as saying, “He didn’t pressure himself. He was kind of nonchalant.” Basically, when one sport was over, he just went to the next one. “He never said ‘I’m tired, I can’t do this.’ He just took the right attitude in playing all of these sports,” Fligg stated. Gallup earned 16 varsity letters in high school, four from each of the sports he played. His athleticism wasn’t lacking and his early indecisiveness wasn’t his biggest struggle when it came time to prepare for college, it was his grades. “I didn’t have the best grades out of high school,” Gallup told Herz. “I didn’t do too well with SAT and a lot of schools wanted that.” He had about 15 D-1 offers and ended up committing to South Carolina but because of his academic struggles, Gallup had to go the junior college route and enrolled at Butler County Community College in Kansas from 2014-2015.

[Reference: “Michael Gallup’s winding road to becoming CSU’s leading wide receiver” Article by: Eddie Herz. The Rocky Mountain Collegian. Published on Aug 25, 2017]

   Gallup led Butler County in receiving during the 2014 season but an ankle injury limited him to just three games in 2015. At this point, he didn’t know where he wanted to go after he left Butler County CC or if anybody even wanted him anymore since his injury kept him sidelined for the majority of his 2015 campaign. Gallup received a call from Georgia Hall of Fame high school coach, Charles Winslette, who helped coach him at Monroe. Winslette worked with Mike Bobo’s (CSU Head Coach, former UGA Offensive Coord.) father, George, at one point during his coaching tenure and he told Mike about Gallup. Bobo proceeded to call Gallup after watching his film. Mike Bobo had met Michael Gallup once before while he was recruiting a former teammate of Gallup's in Stanton Truitt to Georgia, back when Bobo was the Bulldogs offensive coordinator. He liked what he saw but Georgia never made a push for him. Bobo sent Gallup some clips of previous Colorado State receiver standout, Rashard Higgins, who he enjoyed watching take simple screen passes and turn them into big plays. Gallup would eventually go and visit Coach Bobo and Colorado State University. He immediately committed to the Rams when Bobo told him to come and play the same position at CSU that A.J. Green played for Georgia.

[Reference: “Colorado State's Michael Gallup is the best receiver you don't know yet” Article by: Adam Rittenberg. ESPN Staff Writer. Published on Dec 15, 2017]

   The 6-1, 200 pound wide receiver would go on to become Colorado State's top receiving option his first season there. He finished his 2016 campaign with 76 catches, 1,272 yards and 14 touchdowns. His 14 receiving touchdowns that year were good enough for second in Colorado State history. He finished the season scoring a touchdown in eight consecutive games (12 of 14 total during that span) and five straight games with at least 100 yards receiving (6 total throughout the season). He was named First-Team All-Mountain West by vote of coaches and media as well as being named to Phil Steele's All-MW first-team. He burst onto the scene in Fort Collins but the national recognition was still lacking.

   Coming into his senior year and final season with the Rams, Gallup still wasn't on any national radar; at least not any that I saw. Nevertheless, the opening to the 2017 season couldn't have gone any better for CSU. They opened the brand new Colorado State Stadium on August 5, 2017 and on August 26, they played their first football game in it against the Oregon State Beavers. The Rams would go on to win 58-27 with Gallup accounting for 134 yards on 11 catches and no scores. He wouldn't get his first touchdown reception until the week 3 matchup vs Abilene Christian when he had 10 catches for 108 yards and one touchdown. Just one week later, Colorado State would travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for a showdown with the eventual National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Gallup didn't find the endzone in that game but he did finish with 5 catches for 81 yards in the 41-23 loss while still showing great ability against some of the country's top defensive players. At this point in the season, a quarter of the way through, Gallup had amassed 390 receiving yards on 31 catches with only one touchdown. I wasn't hearing his name or hearing much about the 2-2 Rams anywhere.

   On Saturday, September 30, 2017, I remember being up late that night watching different football games. Somehow, I ended up on Colorado St at Hawaii. I remember watching Gallup catch a quick slant pass and taking it to the house. I had seen plays like that countless times in my life, but for reasons I can't explain, he stuck out to me. Gallup would finish the game with 8 catches for 212 yards and one touchdown. That same night after I saw him score, I immediately googled his name, wanting to learn more about who he was and watch any previous film there was of him. What I found was impressive. I kept my eyes and ears open the rest of the 2017 season for the name ,Michael Gallup, and as the year wore on I became more and more enamored with the senior prospect. Anytime Colorado State was playing on television, I was watching. I recall bringing his name up on the sports talk show I co-host/produce, The Evening Sports Page (airs on 101.7 WGOG-FM), and saying that this is a guy people need to know and watch out for. I wasn't wrong.

   Gallup would finish his senior season with 100 catches, 1,418 yards and seven touchdowns (including CSU bowl game vs Marshall). He was the first player during the season to reach 1000 yards receiving and he also had two games with over 200 receiving yards and four other games with at least 100. Against Nevada on October 14, Gallup had 13 catches for 263 yards and three touchdowns. Gallup was named a Consensus All-American and is just the fourth player in Colorado State history to earn that distinction. He was a Biletnikoff Award Finalist (Best Wide Receiver), 2018 Senior Bowl selection, First-Team All-American by Walter Camp, FWAA, Phil Steele and Pro Football Focus. AP, AFCA, Sports Illustrated and USA Today all gave him second-team All-American honors. Pro Football Focus had him as their top-graded receiver in 2017 with a 92.1 grade. In the two seasons he spent with the Rams, Gallup finished 10th in the Mountain West Conference (since 1999) in receiving touchdowns (21) and was a two-time First-Team All-Mountain West player.

   On January 27, 2018, Gallup participated in the 69th annual Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. During the week of practice, Zebra Technologies clocked Gallup on Day 1 at 20.69 mph, the fastest player for the North team that day. In one-on-one drills, he caught a beautiful touch-fade pass from Josh Allen, after he beat the defender, for a touchdown [click for video]. He also made a great grab in the middle of the field from Baker Mayfield that went right past a defender, showing great concentration and awareness ability from Gallup [click for video]. In the game that Saturday, he finished with 3 catches for 60 yards. The stats aren't indicative of the praise or attention he received after the game and has been getting since then.

A lot of guys stood out at the #SeniorBowl today. But only one guy has stood out to me since the beginning of the season...that's Michael Gallup. He is going to be a stud in the NFL!

- (from a tweet I sent out after the Senior Bowl on January 27, 2018)

   I was in attendance at the Senior Bowl covering the game from the press box for ESP. I was able to catch up with some players afterwards in postgame interviews, including Gallup. I asked him how the practices in college compare to the couple of practices he got that week with NFL coaching staffs and what any noticeable differences were for him. He answered, "Making sure you finish. [laughs] You can't just catch the ball and take two steps, you know, and give the ball back. You have to finish at least 20 or 30 yards downfield with a sprint. Just finishing, giving a good burst at the end." I also asked him what his favorite memory or play from his college career was to which he responded, "Probably when I caught a touchdown pass from my roommate, he also played wide receiver for us at Colorado State, Detrich Clark. We did a halfback toss and he threw it to me and that was probably the best memory I got from Colorado State. It was fun." When I stopped recording, I shook his hand and told him I was a huge fan of his and look forward to seeing him play on Sundays.

    Getting to this point was no easy task for Gallup. It involved some rough patches but it ultimately has led to him becoming a top receiver in college football this past year and becoming one of the top receivers going into the 2018 NFL Draft. The jump to the NFL has become more manageable in recent years for college players but it still isn't easy. There are a lot of big name wide receivers in this draft class including Calvin Ridley (Alabama), Courtland Sutton (SMU), Anthony Miller (Memphis), Allen Lazard (Iowa St), Keke Coutee (Texas Tech), this years Biletnikoff winner in James Washington (Oklahoma St) and the Senior Bowl's Co-Most Outstanding South player in DJ Chark (LSU). All of them have tremendous potential but the one I believe in the most to GALLOP onto the NFL stage and be successful is none-other than Colorado State's All-American, Michael Gallup.

#GallupOn @mg4dontplay

MY ANALYSIS: Michael Gallup, Wide Receiver, 6-1 200

- Soft and reliable hands

- Physical at the point of attack; he has a strong desire for the ball, wants it more than whoever is defending him; wins majority of contested catches (ranked 5th in contested catch rate)

- Great at creating separation off the ball, effortless double moves, uses great technique to beat press coverage at the line; variety of ways to get open in short passing game

- Excels in yards after catch (657 yards after catch & 20 missed tackles forced in 2017); great 'screen pass' receiver, gets north and south in a hurry

- Accelerates down the field but not a "speedy" receiver

- Makes playing the position look easy and smooth

- Tracks the ball in the air and finds it really well

- Sharp route runner with dynamic change-of-direction ability {route running was a concern coming into 2017 and throughout season but there were clear signs of incremental improvement in technique and cuts; has developed into a polished route runner but there is still room for improvement}

- Strong footwork and strength off the line-of-scrimmage

- Strength and physicality to go across the middle of the field; no fear of contact, sometimes welcomes it

- Good blocking ability, run and pass

- Shows nuance and understanding of his role and what's going on around him

? A knock on Gallup, according to some, is that he tends to round off post & out routes instead of making hard cuts and direct angles; there are times defenders can recover on him if they get beat initially

? Questions about his top end speed


(Round 3/Pick 81)


6-1 / 205 lbs / 31.5" arms / 9.25" hands

#NFLCombine Results:

  • 4.51 - 40 yd dash

  • 10 reps on bench press (225 lbs)

  • 36" vertical

  • 122" broad jump

  • 6.95 seconds in 3-cone drill

  • 4.37 sec 20-yd shuttle

  • 11.84 sec 60-yd shuttle

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