Christian McCaffrey

Christian Jackson McCaffrey (born June 7, 1996) is an American football running back for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Stanford, and was drafted by the Panthers with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. As a sophomore in 2015, McCaffrey was the AP College Football Player of the Year and the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. He holds the NCAA record for most all-purpose yards in a season with 3,864. McCaffrey holds numerous NFL and Carolina Panthers franchise records and is a member of the 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a season club.

Christian McCaffrey
refer to caption
McCaffrey in 2018
No. 22 – Carolina Panthers
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1996-06-07) June 7, 1996 (age 24)
Castle Rock, Colorado
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Valor Christian
(Highlands Ranch, Colorado)
College:Stanford
NFL Draft:2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2019
Rushing yards:2,920
Rushing average:4.7
Rushing touchdowns:24
Receptions:303
Receiving yards:2,523
Receiving touchdowns:15
Return yards:220
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early lifeEdit

Christian Jackson McCaffrey was born in Castle Rock, Colorado, on June 7, 1996, the son of former Stanford and NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey and former Stanford soccer star Lisa McCaffrey. He attended Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.[1] He played running back, wide receiver, cornerback, and punter. He broke numerous Colorado high school records including career total touchdowns (141), career all purpose yards (8,845), career touchdown receptions (47), and single season all-purpose yards (3,032).[2] He was the Gatorade Football Player of the Year for Colorado in both 2012 and 2013.[3] He also played basketball.

 
McCaffrey in 2012, playing for Valor Christian High School

McCaffrey was also a standout sprinter on the track & field team. As a sophomore, he placed second in the 100-meter dash at the Mountain Vista Boulder Invitational with a career-best time of 10.75 seconds.[4] As a junior in 2013, he finished sixth in the 100-meter dash (10.89s) and ninth in the 200-meter dash (22.17s) at the CHSAA State Meet.[5]

Considered one of the best one hundred football players in his national high school class, he was selected as a 2014 U.S. Army All-American. He was rated by Rivals.com as a four-star recruit and was ranked as the third best all-purpose back in his class and 77th best player overall.[6] He committed to Stanford University to play college football.[7][8]

College careerEdit

2014 seasonEdit

 
McCaffrey in 2014

McCaffrey played in all 13 games as a true freshman at Stanford, in 2014. In his collegiate debut, he had a 52-yard receiving touchdown against UC Davis.[9] He finished the year with 300 rushing yards on 43 carries and 251 receiving yards on 17 receptions with two total touchdowns.[10][11]

2015 seasonEdit

McCaffrey had a breakout sophomore season in 2015.[12][13] He broke Barry Sanders's NCAA record of 3,250 all-purpose yards, finishing with 3,864. Sanders's son Barry J. Sanders coincidentally happened to be one of McCaffrey's teammates that year.[14][15] McCaffrey ranked second in the nation with 2,019 rushing yards,[16] becoming the first Stanford player to rush for 2,000 in a season.[17] He also set numerous other Stanford records during the season including rushing yards in a single game (243)[18] and all-purpose yards in a game (461).[19]

McCaffrey was a consensus All-American and was the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, Pac-12 Player of the Year, and Paul Hornung Award winner.[20][21][22] He also finished second to Alabama's Derrick Henry in the 2015 Heisman Trophy voting.[23]

During the 2016 Rose Bowl against Iowa, McCaffrey became the first player to rush for over 100 yards (172) and have over 100 yards receiving (109) in a Rose Bowl game. Overall, he set a new Rose Bowl record with 368 all-purpose yards, breaking the previous record set in 2012 by Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis.[24]

2016 seasonEdit

Through the end of the 2016 regular season, McCaffrey led the nation in all purpose yards (211.6 yards per game). He led the Pac-12 in rushing yards (1,603) and ranked fourth in the nation in rushing yards per game (145.7).[25] After being injured during the Cardinal's 42–16 loss to Washington State on October 8, McCaffrey sat out for the team's 17–10 victory in the 2016 edition of the Notre Dame-Stanford rivalry the following week.[26] McCaffrey set a Stanford single-game rushing record with 284 rushing yards against California.[27] McCaffrey was named to the 2016 All-Pac-12 first team and was named the CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year. After the season, he decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.[28]

On December 19, McCaffrey announced he would not participate in the team's Sun Bowl game against North Carolina, opting to skip the game to prepare for the NFL Draft.[29] His decision was met with mixed reactions; supporters agreed it was a smart decision,[30][31][32] while those opposing considered the move selfish,[33] and potentially detrimental to college football should other players follow suit.[34][35][36] Radio host Mike Greenberg, in defense of McCaffrey, said, "Calling Christian McCaffrey a quitter for skipping an exhibition game to prepare for his career is the height of just not getting it."[36]

NCAA career statistics
Stanford
Season Rushing Receiving Punt return Kickoff return All-purpose
Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Ret Yds Avg TD Ret Yds Avg TD Yds TD
2014 42 300 7.1 0 17 251 14.8 2 9 154 17.1 0 5 91 18.2 0 796 2
2015 337 2,019 6.0 8 45 645 14.3 5 15 130 8.7 1 37 1,070 28.9 1 3,864 15
2016 253 1,603 6.3 13 37 310 8.4 3 10 96 9.6 0 14 318 22.7 0 2,327 16
Total 632 3,922 6.2 21 99 1,206 12.2 10 34 380 11.2 1 56 1,479 26.4 1 6,987 33

Professional careerEdit

McCaffrey received an invitation to the NFL Combine as one of the top running back prospects entering the draft and completed all of the required combine drills and participated in positional drills. He attended Stanford's Pro Day, but was satisfied with his combine numbers and only ran positional drills for the NFL scouts and representatives. McCaffrey was projected to be a first round pick by the majority of NFL experts and analysts. He was ranked the third best running back in the draft by Sports Illustrated, the fourth best running back by Pro Football Focus, and ranked the second best by NFLDraftScout.com and ESPN.[37][38][39]

External video
  McCaffrey's NFL Combine workout
  Christian McCaffrey's 40-yard dash
  McCaffrey's NFL Combine interview
  McCaffrey's Stanford Pro Day Highlights
Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 11 14 in
(1.81 m)
202 lb
(92 kg)
30 18 in
(0.77 m)
9 18 in
(0.23 m)
4.48 s 1.55 s 2.60 s 4.22 s 6.57 s 37 12 in
(0.95 m)
10 ft 1 in
(3.07 m)
10 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[40][41]

The Carolina Panthers selected McCaffrey in the first round with the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.[42] He was the second running back taken, after fourth overall pick Leonard Fournette.[43][44]

External video
  Panthers select McCaffrey eighth overall
  McCaffrey receives call from Panthers

On May 4, 2017, the Carolina Panthers signed McCaffrey to a four-year, $17.2 million contract with a signing bonus of $10.7 million.[45][46]

2017 seasonEdit

McCaffrey made his NFL season debut in the Panthers' season-opener against the San Francisco 49ers and recorded 47 rushing yards, 38 receiving yards, and a lost fumble in a 23–3 victory.[47] In Week 3, against the New Orleans Saints, he had nine receptions for 101 yards.[48] In Week 5 against the Detroit Lions, McCaffrey scored his first career touchdown on a six-yard shovel pass from quarterback Cam Newton.[49] In Week 9, against the Atlanta Falcons, he scored his first career rushing touchdown on a four-yard rush in the second quarter.[50] In the team's Monday Night Football win over the Miami Dolphins, McCaffrey scored twice–one rushing and one receiving–and totaled 50 yards.[51] In Week 15, in a victory over the Green Bay Packers, McCaffrey brought his season total to 73 catches and five receiving touchdowns, being the only rookie running back in NFL history with at least 70 receptions and five touchdown catches before being joined by Alvin Kamara later in the season.[52][53] The following week, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, McCaffrey brought his catch total to 75, breaking the Panthers rookie record of 74 set by Kelvin Benjamin.[54][55] He finished his rookie season with 435 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 80 receptions, 651 receiving yards, and five receiving touchdowns.[56] The Panthers made the playoffs as the #5-seed.[57] In the Wild Card Round against the New Orleans Saints, he had 16 rushing yards, six receptions, 101 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown in the 31–26 loss.[58]

2018 seasonEdit

In Week 2, against the Atlanta Falcons, McCaffrey recorded a career-high 14 receptions for 102 receiving yards to go along with 37 rushing yards in the 31–24 loss.[59] In Week 3, against the Cincinnati Bengals, he had 28 carries for a career-high 184 rushing yards in the 31–21 victory.[60] Though limited in yardage for much of the middle of the season, from Weeks 8–10 McCaffrey compiled seven touchdowns in three games (joining DeAngelo Williams in 2008 as the only other Panther with this distinction), including all of Carolina's scores in a 52–21 loss to Pittsburgh.[61] On November 25, 2018, McCaffrey became the first Panther ever to have over 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game. He had 125 yards rushing and 112 yards receiving in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.[62] The 237 yards set a Panthers franchise record for most yards from scrimmage in a game. He also was the first player since Arian Foster in 2011 to have 100+ yards and a touchdown both rushing and receiving, and the only player with 10+ receptions in such a game.[63] During Week 15, in a Monday Night Football showdown against the 11–2 Saints, McCaffrey threw a 50-yard touchdown pass on 4th and 2 to Chris Manhertz.[64] With 50 rushing, 50 receiving and 50 passing yards, he joined Walter Payton and Gale Sayers as the only others to achieve this.[65] During Week 16 against the Atlanta Falcons, McCaffrey broke Matt Forte's record for most receptions by a running back in a single season, finishing with 101 rushing yards and 77 receiving yards as the Panthers lost 10–24.[66] With the Panthers' eliminated from the playoffs, he had a limited role in the Week 17 victory over the New Orleans Saints with 40 total yards.[67] Overall, he finished the 2018 season with 1,098 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns, 107 receptions, 867 receiving yards, and six receiving touchdowns.[68] With the opposite of a Sophomore slump, McCaffrey became the Panthers franchise record holder of all-purpose yards in a season with 1,965.[69] He became the first white running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in season since Peyton Hillis in 2010, and only the second since Craig James in 1985.

2019 seasonEdit

 
McCaffrey alongside Adam Humphries of the Tennessee Titans

In Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams, McCaffrey rushed 19 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 81 yards as the Panthers lost 27-30.[70] He played every offensive snap and became the first player to post 10 or more receptions and 120 or more rushing yards in two career games.[71] After losing All-Pro quarterback Cam Newton in Week 2, the Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals 38-20 in Week 3, where McCaffrey rushed 24 times for 153 yards with a career long 76 yard touchdown and caught three passes for 35 yards.[72] In Week 4 against the Houston Texans, McCaffrey rushed 27 times for 93 yards and one touchdown and 10 passes for 86 yards in the 16-10 win. In the game, McCaffrey generated 179 yards of offense while the rest of his team only generated 118 yards of offense.[73] During Week 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, McCaffrey bested his career long rushing touchdown set in Week 3 with an 84-yard touchdown run. This also set a Panthers record for longest touchdown run. He finished with 176 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns along with 61 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown, bringing it to 237 total yards as the Panthers won 34-27.[74] In Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, McCaffrey rushed 22 times for 31 yards and one touchdown and caught four passes for 26 yards and one touchdown in the 37-26 win.[75] During Week 9 against the Tennessee Titans, McCaffrey finished with 146 rushing yards, 20 receiving yards, and 3 total touchdowns as the Panthers won 30-20.[76] That performance helped him maintain the league lead in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns over Minnesota's Dalvin Cook he held from Week 6 to the midpoint of the season (through 8 games).[77] McCaffrey continued his touchdown streak in Week 10 against the Green Bay Packers on the road, carrying the ball 20 times for 108 yards on the ground and one score, while hauling in six catches for 33 yards. He also fumbled for the first time this season, and was stopped just short of the goal line in a failed comeback late in the fourth quarter in the 16–24 loss.[78] During a Week 11 29-3 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, McCaffrey finished with 121 receiving yards and 70 rushing yards; his 191 yards from scrimmage was again more than the rest of team's combined 156.[79] He recorded his 53rd reception, breaking LaDainian Tomlinson's record for the most catches by a running back in an NFL player's first three seasons.[80] In Week 12, against the New Orleans Saints, he totaled 133 scrimmage yards (64 rushing, 69 receiving), a rushing touchdown, and a receiving touchdown.[81] In Week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks, McCaffrey rushed 19 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns and caught eight passes for 88 yards during the 30–24 loss.[82] In Week 16 against the Indianapolis Colts, McCaffrey rushed 13 times for 54 yards and caught 15 passes for 119 yards during the 38–6 loss.[83] In Week 17 against the New Orleans Saints, McCaffrey rushed nine times for 26 yards and a touchdown and caught seven passes for 72 yards in the 42–10 loss. During the game, McCaffrey joined Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the only players to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.[84] McCaffrey finished the 2019 season with 1,387 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns to go along with 116 receptions for 1,005 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns.[85] This performance led to McCaffrey being selected for his first Pro Bowl, played on January 26, 2020.[86] McCaffrey finished third in Offensive Player of the Year voting.[87]

McCaffrey accounted for 43% of his team's offensive yards during the season, the largest percentage of any individual player in the NFL.[88]

2020 seasonEdit

On April 16, 2020, McCaffrey signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension with the Panthers through the 2025 season, making him the highest-paid running back in NFL history.[89][90]

NFL statisticsEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Returning Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2017 CAR 16 10 117 435 3.8 40 2 80 651 8.1 37 5 25 220 8.8 25 0 2 1
2018 CAR 16 16 219 1,098 5.0 59 7 107 867 8.1 38 6 0 0 0.0 0 0 4 1
2019 CAR 16 16 278 1,387 4.9 84T 15 116 1,005 8.6 25T 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 0
Career 48 42 623 2,920 4.7 84T 24 303 2,523 8.3 38 15 25 220 8.8 25 0 7 2

PostseasonEdit

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Returning Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2017 CAR 1 1 6 16 2.7 7 0 6 101 16.8 56T 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Career 1 1 6 16 2.7 7 0 6 101 16.8 56T 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0

NFL RecordsEdit

  • Most receptions by a running back in a single game (15)[91]
  • Most receptions by a running back in a single season (116)[92]
  • Only running back to have two seasons with 100 or more receptions.[93]
  • First player in NFL history to record over 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in the first 10 games of a season.[94]
  • Only the third player in NFL history to record over 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in a single season. He joins Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig.[93]
  • First rookie running back in NFL history with 70 receptions and five receiving touchdowns[95]
  • First player in NFL history with 50 rushing and 50 receiving yards in five consecutive games[95]
  • Most receptions by a running back in first 3 seasons with 303 receptions[80]
  • Only the second running back in NFL history with 2000+ receiving yards in his first 42 games (shared with Herschel Walker)[96]
  • Only the second player in NFL history with at least 20 rushing TDs and at least 15 receiving TDs through their first three seasons.[97]
  • Third most scrimmage yards in a single season in NFL history (2,392)[98]

Franchise RecordsEdit

  • Single-season records for most receptions by any player (116)[99]
  • Single-season records for most scrimmage yards by any player (2,392)[100]
  • First player in Panthers history to reach 2,000 yards from scrimmage in a season[101]
  • Most scrimmage yards by any player in first two seasons (3,051)[98]
  • Most scrimmage yards by any player in first three seasons (5,443)[98]
  • Single-season records for most receiving yards by a running back (1,005)[99]
  • Single-season records for most receiving touchdowns by a running back (6)[102]
  • Single-season records for most receiving first downs by a running back (41)
  • Longest rush by a running back in franchise history (84 yards)[103]
  • Franchise record for receiving yards by a running back in a single game with 121 receiving yards on 11 catches[104]

Personal lifeEdit

McCaffrey's father, Ed McCaffrey, played college football at Stanford and in the NFL, mostly for the Denver Broncos, from 1991 to 2003. His mother, Lisa Sime, played soccer at Stanford. His older brother Max played football at Duke University, and then on several NFL teams as a wide receiver.[105] His younger brother, Dylan, is a quarterback at the University of Michigan.[106] His youngest brother, Luke, is a quarterback at the University of Nebraska.[107] His uncle, Billy McCaffrey, played college basketball at Duke and Vanderbilt University.[108][109] His maternal grandfather is Dave Sime, an Olympic track star.[110] In 2018, McCaffrey appeared on a commercial for the NFL along with Jay Ajayi, Todd Gurley, and DeAndre Hopkins.[111] Since 2019, McCaffrey has been in a relationship with model Olivia Culpo.[112]

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