Yes, the last McCaffrey that played at Stanford did some special things. Yes, he was an All-American. Yes, he played in the NFL. Yes, he was selected to a Pro Bowl and won three Super Bowls. Yes, he's a bit of a ledged in Palo Alto. None of that stuff really needs much explaining.
Now, 22 years after Ed McCaffrey wrapped up his college career, his son, Christian McCaffrey, a four-star running back, has pledged to begin his at the very same school. Pressure is natural in this situation. The name he'll wear on the back of his jersey ensures that. Don't tell Christian that, though. He'll argue that he cleared that hurdle long ago.
"I think pressure for those who bring it on themselves," McCaffrey said on Friday night. "I've always had pressure on me because of my last name. I used to think I had to preform so well all the time. But, really I got over that and figured out how to blaze my own trail."
That said, it's not as though his famous father had an adverse reaction to the day's news.
"My dad was definitely pleased when I picked Stanford, but he left it up to me," McCaffrey said. "He could have pushed me toward Stanford, but he didn't. He sat back and was just pleased that I chose his alma mater."
In a decision that didn't shock many, Christian McCaffrey committed to the Cardinal early Friday morning. He had always favored Stanford and the draw of following in his father's footsteps certainly didn't hurt coach David Shaw's cause. Ask the Rivals100 athlete, however, and he'll tell you it was the atmosphere in Palo Alto, not his family ties, that pushed him over the edge.
"Stanford is where my heart was," McCaffrey said. "When I went up there, I had a chance to stay with some of the guys. They were all so cool to me. They are a lot like my friends here in Colorado, so I felt like I wouldn't be leaving a whole lot. I felt like I could call it home."
McCaffrey says he'll end his recruitment and pass on the opportunity to take additional visits from this point forward. He chose Stanford over 21 other scholarship offers, including invitations from Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin and UCLA. He does not intend to graduate high school early.
As a junior at Valor Christian, the 6-foot, 193-pound McCaffrey ran for 1,390 yards, caught 55 passes and scored 41 total touchdowns.