McCaf­frey will skip Stan­ford’s bowl game. Chris­tian

For­mer Valor Chris­tian star be­gins prepa­ra­tion for NFL draft

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Nicki Jhab­vala Nicki Jhab­vala: njhab­vala@den­ver­ or @Nick­iJhab­vala

McCaf­frey is done play­ing col­lege football, even though Stan­ford has one more game. The run­ning back wants to pre­pare for the draft and said on Twit­ter on Mon­day he will not play in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 30.

Stan­ford run­ning back Chris­tian McCaf­frey an­nounced Mon­day that he will sit out the Car­di­nal’s meet­ing with North Carolina in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 30 in El Paso, of­fi­cially end­ing his col­lege ca­reer.

McCaf­frey, the sec­ond-eldest son of Lisa McCaf­frey and for­mer Broncos re­ceiver Ed McCaf­frey, pre­vi­ously an­nounced this month that he will forgo his se­nior sea­son at Stan­ford and en­ter the 2017 NFL draft.

“Very tough de­ci­sion, but I have de­cided not to play in the Sun Bowl so I can be­gin my draft prep im­me­di­ately,” he tweeted. “Thx to all my team­mates for their 100% sup­port — It means a lot to me. Go Car­di­nal!”

McCaf­frey joins Louisiana State run­ning back Leonard Four­nette in choos­ing to sit out his team’s bowl game ahead of the draft. Four­nette said last week that he would not play in the Citrus Bowl, against No. 15 Louisville, so he could rest his in­jured an­kle.

“I’m not a quit­ter at all. I tried to play through the in­jury as best as I could,” Four­nette said. “It’s a hurt­ful feel­ing know­ing that we had the sea­son that we had and I didn’t get the op­por­tu­nity to play to my full po­ten­tial.”

McCaf­frey, a for­mer Valor Chris­tian star, is pro­jected by mul­ti­ple out­lets as a late­first-round se­lec­tion and leaves Stan­ford with mul­ti­ple school and NCAA records. This sea­son he led the na­tion with 211.6 allpur­pose yards per game and ranked fourth with 145.7 yards rush­ing per game. He was named to the all-Pac-12 first team and was voted as Stan­ford’s MVP for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive sea­son. McCaf­frey, a com­mu­ni­ca­tions ma­jor with a 3.43 GPA, was also named CoSIDA aca­demic All-Amer­i­can of the year.

In 2015, McCaf­frey snapped Barry San­ders’ NCAA all-pur­pose-yards record with 3,864. McCaf­frey fin­ished sec­ond in the na­tion with 2,019 yards rush­ing and be­came the first player in Stan­ford his­tory to top the 2,000 mark in a sea­son. Among his many ac­co­lades af­ter his sophomore sea­son, McCaf­frey was named The As­so­ci­ated Press’ col­lege football player of the year, the Pac-12 player of the year and the Paul Hor­nung Award win­ner for most ver­sa­tile player, and he was the Heis­man Tro­phy run­ner-up.

In McCaf­frey’s fi­nal game with Stan­ford, a 41-17 win over Rice, he recorded 271 allpur­pose yards and scored two touch­downs. In his ca­reer, McCaf­frey amassed 3,922 yards rush­ing and 21 rush­ing touch­downs, 1,206 yards re­ceiv­ing and 10 re­ceiv­ing touch­downs. His 6,987 ca­reer all-pur­pose yards rank sec­ond on Stan­ford’s all-time list, be­hind Darrin Nel­son’s 7,120.

“What he’s done here at Stan­ford is jaw­drop­ping. It’s awe-in­spir­ing. It’s up there with An­drew Luck and John El­way and Jim Plun­kett — guys that have done phe­nom­e­nal things,” Stan­ford coach David Shaw said dur­ing McCaf­frey’s news con­fer­ence to an­nounce his draft de­ci­sion.

McCaf­frey helped the Car­di­nal to a bowl game in each of his three col­le­giate sea­sons, in­clud­ing last Jan­uary’s Rose Bowl win over Iowa. He was named the game’s of­fen­sive MVP with a Rose Bowl record 368 all-pur­pose yards.

Stan­ford (9-3) now pre­pares to face North Carolina (8-4) in the Sun Bowl with­out its big­gest of­fen­sive weapon and one of its cap­tains.

Stan­ford run­ning back Chris­tian McCaf­frey runs for a touch­down this sea­son at Ore­gon. McCaf­frey con­cluded his col­lege ca­reer Nov. 26 by rush­ing for 204 yards and a touch­down against Rice. Thomas Boyd, The As­so­ci­ated Press

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