Early Tuesday morning, Stanford Athletics announced the launch of WildCaff.com, a website dedicated to tracking sophomore running back Christian McCaffrey’s highlights and stats as he pursues the second Heisman Trophy in Stanford program history.
Although Stanford had been notoriously unwilling to formalize Heisman Trophy campaigns for both Toby Gerhart and Andrew Luck in the last several years (making very late pushes for both candidates), Stanford has started its formal campaign to push McCaffrey’s candidacy after its ninth game of the season, with at least four — and likely five — games left to go in the Cardinal’s 2015 schedule.
Head coach David Shaw had also been unwilling throughout the season to offer his thoughts on supporting a formalized Heisman Trophy push for McCaffrey, usually responding with a simple “okay” when asked whether McCaffrey deserved the Heisman or not.
However, after the Cardinal’s 31-14 victory over Washington on Oct. 24, Shaw did offer some more substantiated thoughts on the matter.
“I’m at the point where I don’t know what else I can say other than watch him,” Shaw said.
Another quote from Shaw after the Cardinal’s victory over Colorado on Saturday continued to develop a more outright base of support for McCaffrey’s candidacy — highlighting his versatility and what that versatility adds to the team.
“Christian can really throw the ball,” Shaw said. “There aren’t many positions the young man can’t play; I’d say offensive and defensive line are it. He can play middle linebacker, fullback, receiver, and quarterback. He’s a phenomenal football player.”
McCaffrey leads the nation in all-purpose yards with 2,174 through nine games, needing just 61 more all-purpose yards this season to break Stanford’s all-time single-season record of 2,234. McCaffrey is averaging 243 all-purpose yards per game, which puts him on pace for 3,402 over a 14-game season, which would shatter Barry Sanders’ all-time NCAA record of 3,250 in a season.
As a runner, McCaffrey is currently 10th in the country, averaging 134.1 rushing yards per game. He is also averaging 36 receiving yards per game and 71 return yards per game. His current active streak of seven consecutive games with over 100 yards rushing is tied with Gerhart’s 2009 streak for best in program history.
With previous Heisman Trophy front-runner Leonard Fournette of LSU having struggled against Alabama last Saturday (just 31 rushing yards), McCaffrey could be a strong player in the race for the Heisman down the stretch, especially with a highly-visible matchup against Notre Dame and a likely date with the Pac-12 South winner in the Pac-12 Championship.