Stanford sophomore running back Christian McCaffrey was named one of three finalists for the 2015 Heisman Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding player in college football, in an announcement made Monday afternoon in recognition of his record-breaking contributions to No. 6 Stanford’s Pac-12 title run as the centerpiece of the Cardinal offense.
McCaffrey, who is also a finalist for the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year Award, is looking to become the second Heisman winner in Stanford history after quarterback Jim Plunkett won the award in 1970. He is the fifth Heisman finalist in school history, joining Plunkett (1970), John Elway (1982), Toby Gerhart (2009) and Andrew Luck (2010, 2011).
The other Heisman finalists are running back Derrick Henry of Alabama and quarterback Deshaun Watson of Clemson.
McCaffrey was one of the premier forces in the nation in all three phases of the game: rushing, receiving and returning. The sophomore is currently second in the nation behind Henry with 1,847 rushing yards, second in the nation among running backs with 540 receiving yards and second in the nation with 1,042 kickoff return yards.
In all, his 3,496 all-purpose yards lead the nation by a margin of over 1,000 yards, shattering the previous all-time record of 3,250 set by Barry Sanders in his legendary 1988 season. His 2,387 yards from scrimmage also lead the nation by a wide margin.
Although McCaffrey has drawn criticism for needing 13 games to set the all-purpose yardage record (as opposed to Sanders’ 11), he actually set the record in seven fewer touches than Sanders, the winner of the 1988 Heisman Trophy.
The 2015 Heisman Trophy will be awarded to one of the finalists in a ceremony in New York City on Saturday.
This post will be updated.
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dhpark ‘at’ stanford.edu.