Christian McCaffrey, Amateur Athlete of the Year
From the moment he stepped on a football field, Christian McCaffrey was special.
McCaffrey was one of the most highly-recruited athletes in Colorado after a standout career at Valor Christian High School and chose the football program at his parents’ alma mater, Stanford University.
As a Cardinal sophomore in 2015, he exploded on the Heisman scene, breaking Barry Sanders NCAA total yardage mark with 3,864 yards and becoming the only FBS player to lead his team in rushing and receiving. In addition to being named the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Amateur Athlete of the Year, McCaffrey was the Associated Press Player of the year, consensus all-American, Pac 12 Championship game MVP, and a first team academic all-American.
After finishing second in the Heisman voting, McCaffrey led the Cardinal to a 45-16 victory in the Rose Bowl. He established a record in the history-rich game for total yards with 368 yards (172 rushing, 105 receiving, 63 punt return, 28 kick return).
“I’m someone who believes in having motivation at all times, win or lose, not individual awards. I play for my teammates,” McCaffrey said.
He ranked second in the nation with 2,019 rushing yards, becoming the first Stanford player to rush for 2,000 in a season. An excellent student, he also set numerous other Stanford records during the season including rushing yards in a game (243) and all-purpose yards in a game with (461).