Stanford star running back and 2015 Heisman Trophy runner-up, Christian McCaffrey, announced Wednesday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
In a statement, McCaffrey said he knew it was time to enter the draft following Stanford's final regular-season game. After receiving advice from many, including former Stanford running back Toby Gerhart and coach David Shaw, he made it official.
"When we played Rice, I kind of knew it would be my last game at Stanford Stadium," McCaffrey said. "After the locker room cleared out and the field was empty, I stepped out to the Block S at midfield and stood there a while. I walked to the north end zone and grabbed some turf, just to feel it one last time. I turned back and walked to the south end zone, knelt down and prayed.
"I took in the moment without anyone there, and reflected on my teammates and all the great times we shared together on that field. I appreciated how far I've come, and how far this program has come."
In his three years at Stanford, McCaffrey set multiple individual records, including the NCAA mark for most all-purpose yards in a single season (3,864 in 2015), and school records for most rushing yards (243) and all-puspose yards (461) in a single game.
Following his breakout sophomore campaign, McCaffrey was named the Associated Press' College Football Player of the Year, the Pac-12's player of the year and the winner of the Paul Hornung Award, given to the most versatile player in the NCAA. He also finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Derrick Henry.
McCaffrey closed out his junior season with a team-high 1,603 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns to go 310 receiving yards and three touchdown catches. He was awarded the Irving S. Zeimer Award, given to the team's selected MVP, for the second consecutive season.
In his three years at Stanford, McCaffrey led the Cardinal to three bowl games, including the impending Sun Bowl against North Carolina on Dec. 30 in El Paso, Texas, and last January's Rose Bowl victory over Iowa. McCaffrey was named the game's offensive MVP after recording 368 all-purpose yards, a Rose Bowl record.
The former Valor Christian standout and second-eldest son of former Broncos great Ed McCaffrey and former Stanford soccer star Lisa McCaffrey, Christian is already ranked by multiple outlets as a projected first-round pick. Following the Sun Bowl later this month, his focus will shift to training for the NFL scouting combine and Stanford's pro day next year.
The dream he held as a young kid watching his father play with the Broncos will soon be a reality.
"Since I was 6 years old, I've wanted to play in the NFL," he said. "It's been on every list of goals that I've ever written. Now, it's time to take that step. There's nothing more I can put on film."