With the name and the bloodline, 2014 Christian McCaffrey (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian) is expected to be a big-time athlete.
His father is former NFL star Ed McCaffrey, an All-American receiver at Stanford before going on to win a Super Bowl championship with the San Francisco 49ers and two more with the Denver Broncos. His older brother is Max McCaffrey, a receiver who signed with Duke in February. His uncle, Billy McCaffrey was a star college basketball player at Vanderbilt before going on to play professionally overseas.
When your name is McCaffrey, there’s pressure, but for Christian, it’s clear that with pressure, you either sink or swim. He has chosen to swim, and he’s now one of the rising 2014s in the national recruiting ranks.
“There are a lot of good things about it, but there are a lot of hard things, too,” McCaffrey said. “I love my dad to death, and he’s been an incredible mentor to me. As far as him being my dad, I wouldn’t change it for anything, but there’s always pressure of being Ed McCaffrey’s son.”
McCaffrey said he received the best advice from his father – to look at his current situation not as one of stress but as one of opportunity. McCaffrey currently has more than a dozen offers – including Stanford, Duke, Washington and in-state schools Colorado and Colorado State – and he’s expected to receive many more by the time he finishes his junior season.
At 6-foot and 195 pounds, McCaffrey is a big, speedy running back who rushed for 1,153 yards and 22 touchdowns last season. More impressively, McCaffrey averaged better than 10 yards per carry. For his high school career, McCaffrey has rushed for 37 touchdowns.
McCaffrey has helped Valor Christian win 24 consecutive games and two of the team’s three consecutive Colorado state championships. He had 165 rushing yards, 127 receiving yards and four touchdowns in a 66-10 Colorado Class 4A title-game win over Colorado Springs (Colo.) Pine Creek.
“Everything’s coming along pretty good right now,” McCaffrey said. “I’m still young, so a lot of colleges can’t really look at me yet. I have some offers right now from some pretty good schools, so recruiting is going pretty well.”
Whether or not McCaffrey will follow his dad’s footsteps at Stanford or his brother’s footsteps to Duke is still a mystery. He went to Stanford’s junior day in April, and he recently made a trip to Kansas State for a 7-on-7 tournament and UNLV for a passing camp. McCaffrey said he will take his time with the recruiting process and make a decision that best fits him.
“I haven’t started narrowing them down yet, but I’d love to go to any D-1 school,” he said. “It’s just an honor to know I can play D-1 football. All the schools that have talked to me, I really like.”