Christian McCaffrey

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Myles Garrett: I plan to practice and prepare to play in bowl game

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Perhaps inspired or influenced by the recent news coming out of Stanford, Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett has announced through a brief statement he will indeed be planning to play in Texas A&M’s bowl game this bowl season.

“I plan to practice today and prepare to play in the bowl game with my teammates,” Garrett said in his brief statement released by Texas A&M on Monday.

Garrett is expected my many to be one of the top draft picks in the NFL Draft in the spring. The conversation about potential top or high draft picks sitting out of the bowl season ignited on Monday with news that Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey had decided to not play in the Sun Bowl for the Cardinal so he could focus on preparing for the rigors of the NFL Draft process. LSU running back Leonard Fournette had previously decided to sit out of the bowl season (LSU faces Louisville in the Citrus Bowl) and prepare for the NFL as well.

Unless Garrett has a change of heart in the next week and a half, he and the Aggies will face Kansas State of the Big 12 on Dec. 28 in the Texas Bowl in Houston.

Stanford gives Christian McCaffrey a break in spring game

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Of all of the players in college football with something to prove this spring, Stanford’s dynamic Christian McCaffrey is most certainly not among them. The Heisman finalist did it all for the Cardinal en route to a Pac-12 championship last season, which is why David Shaw decided to give McCaffrey a little bit of a break in the spring game on Saturday.

“He went through all the practices,” Shaw said. “For me, it was just a mileage thing. We tried to make sure that we got him completely recuperated before we starting beating him up again.”

McCaffrey put up monster numbers last season in rushing for 2,019 yards on 337 rushing attempts, catching 45 passes for 645 yards, returning 15 punts and 37 kickoffs. He ended his tremendous sophomore season with 2,664 yards from scrimmage and 1,200 special teams yards. McCaffrey did see the field during Stanford’s spring game, calling for a fair catch three teams on punt duty, but that was all fans got to see of the 2015 Heisman Trophy runner-up.

“I wish I could be out here, but it makes sense,” McCaffrey said. “I feel great, and excited to be a part of this team.”

With McCaffrey taking it relatively easy in the spring game, the focus was on the quarterback competition with Ryan Burns and Keller Chryst attempting to replace Kevin Hogan. Shaw said he will have to look at the film before making any determination in which quarterback performed better, but the box score showed a pretty even afternoon for each. Burns completed 17 of 23 pass attempts for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Chryst completed 16 of his 25 attempts for 156 yards and he led two scoring drives.

“Hard to say who had the upper hand,” Shaw said. “We have to see what the decision making looked like. I was excited to see both guys come back and make some big-time throws. There were a lot of positives for both guys.”

Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey shares advice for younger generation

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Once again proving there really is almost nothing he cannot do, Stanford’s Heisman Trophy finalist Christian McCaffrey took to Twitter late Wednesday night to offer his sage advice for the younger generation out there. To sum it up briefly, McCaffrey wants kids to put their phones down and go out to enjoy all life has to offer.

“Enjoy the authenticity of this world, McCaffrey said on his Twitter account. “Read a book, ride your bike, go to the park, play in the backyard, or build a fort. Do something with your friends that will spur your imagination.”

McCaffrey did not lose sight of the irony in posting a message like this by using his phone, but insisted it was necessary to share his message.

“I know it’s ironic I’m writing this on a phone but I feel like this message needs to be heard,” McCaffrey added. “Enjoy this world and the people in it, especially around your family and friends, because I promise you it’s way better to experience the world face to face.”

Those are some inspiring words from one of college football’s best players, but then again, what would you expect from a Stanford-educated soul?

Heisman odds: Clemson’s Deshaun Watson the early betting favorite

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2015 Heisman Trophy finalist and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is the early favorite to win the 2016 Heisman Trophy according to Bovada. In the first batch of early Heisman Trophy odds released by the popular sports book, Clemson’s quarterback was labeled the favorite to win the hardware next fall following a wildly successful 2015 season and run to the national championship game. The valiant effort in the championship game put everyone on notice just how good Watson is. Of course, he was already a Heisman finalist, so he has the college football world’s attention already.

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, another 2015 finalist for the Heisman Trophy, was tied for the second-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy with LSU running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette had appeared to be the easy pick for the Heisman Trophy last season but his run to the trophy was steamrolled by Alabama, which allowed Derrick Henry to take the lead in the race.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was given a 10/1 shot to win the Heisman Trophy, the same as Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett. Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was among a handful of players receiving 12/1 odds.

Odds to win the 2016 Heisman Trophy

  • QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson (9/2)
  • RB Leonard Fournette, LSU (5/1)
  • RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford (5/1)
  • QB JT Barrett, Ohio State (10/1)
  • QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (10/1)
  • RB Nick Chubb, Georgia (12/1)
  • RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State (12/1)
  • RB Royce Freeman, Oregon (12/1)
  • QB Chad Kelly, Ole Miss (12/1)
  • RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma (12/1)
  • WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama (16/1)
  • QB Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee (16/1)
  • QB Brad Kaaya, Miami (25/1)

Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey starts 2016 Heisman campaign with record-setting show in blowout of Iowa

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If you are looking for your 2016 Heisman Trophy frontrunner, look west. Christian McCaffrey set a Rose Bowl record with 361 all-purpose yards as No. 6 Stanford pounded No. 5 Iowa, 45-16, in the Rose Bowl on New Years Day. McCaffrey got things going on the first play of the game with a 75-yard touchdown reception from Kevin Hogan. It was the longest play from scrimmage of the year and his career for McCaffrey, and he was just getting warmed up.

McCaffrey had a busy afternoon. By the end of the game, McCaffrey became the first player in Rose Bowl history to record 100 rushing and 100 receiving yards in the Rose Bowl. He ended his season with 2,019 rushing yards to become Stanford’s first 2,000-yard rusher in school history. McCaffrey reached these marks by rushing for 172 yards and leading all players with 105 receiving yards in the lopsided victory over the Hawkeyes. If Iowa spent any time focusing on McCaffrey’s and Stanford film, it sure did not show, but that may be just how good McCaffrey and Stanford were. McCaffrey’s performance was definitely worthy of high praise, but he did not do it all alone, if you can believe that.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan turned in an admirable performance as well, passing for 223 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for another score. Stanford’s defense held Iowa to 5-of-17 on third down and allowed just 51 rushing yards. Iowa managed just 290 yards of offense and they needed three fourth-down conversions to help get there. Stanford head coach David Shaw is now 3-2 in bowl games as head coach of the Cardinal, and that now includes two Rose Bowl victories. This Stanford program is not going to be going anywhere any time soon in the Pac-12, it continues to be the gold standard college football program in the same state that is home to USC and UCLA.

Stanford was left out of the College Football Playoff, but by halftime the Cardinal had Twitter blazing about reasons why the College Football Playoff selection committee either got the top four teams wrong or why the playoff should be expanded. Given how Alabama and Clemson seemed to handle Michigan State and Oklahoma, respectively, it was pretty easy to make a case that Stanford should have been in the mix. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20, and the Cardinal lost two games this season. Many will point to Stanford’s season-opening loss at Northwestern as the main reason why Stanford was left out, but a later loss to Oregon may have been more damaging in a “what have you done for me lately” sport.

This loss should not take away too much from the overall success of the season Iowa experienced. Though the Hawkeyes ended the year with two straight losses, Iowa put together some memorable moments en route to an undefeated regular season, which saw them come up just shy of a likely spot in the College Football Playoff. Kirk Ferentz may not have a program locked and loaded for a repeat performance in 2016, which makes a season like this as special as it coudl be.

McCaffrey was this season’s best all-around player in college football, and he accomplished something no other player had done since the 2010 season by scoring a touchdown with a pass, a run, a reception, a punt return and a kickoff return. Troy’s Jerrel Jernigan was the last player to accomplish the rare feat. LSU running back Leonard Fournette ended his 2015 season on a high note as well with a big showing in LSU’s bowl victory over Texas Tech. McCaffrey and Fournette will be the top two Heisman Trophy candidates in the running over the summer months and as the preseason plays out leading up to the start of the 2016 season. Next year, McCaffrey will no longer be in hiding out west, and nobody will be late to picking up who he is. McCaffrey was not as hidden in the west coast late kickoffs as many believe he was, but he did not have his biggest games when most people were watching (Notre Dame, for example).