Each Friday, Ultimate Autographs will feature one athlete that is part of the Ultimate Autographs lineup. This week's Friday Featured Athlete is one of the top current running backs in the NFL, Christian McCaffrey.
Christian McCaffrey excelled as an all-around athlete in high school, playing multiple positions on the Valor Christian High School football team, shined as a track star and even played basketball. Christian McCaffrey won the Gatorade Football Player of the Year Award for Colorado in 2012 and 2013. Following his success on the football field, Christian McCaffrey committed to Stanford University.
Christian McCaffrey appeared in all 13 games as a true freshman but it would be his sophomore year in which he became a national star. Christian McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders' NCAA record of 3,250 all-purpose yards, finishing with 3,864. Christian McCaffrey ranked second in the nation with 2,019 rushing yards and becamethe first Stanford player to rush for over 2,000 in a single season. Christian McCaffrey also set numerous other Stanford records during the season, including rushing yards in a single game (243)and all-purpose yards in a game (461).
He took home numerous accolades following the season and finished second to Derrick Henry in voting for the Heisman Trophy Award.
Christian McCaffrey continued to excel at the collegiate level by leading the nation in all-purpose yards (211.6 yards per game). He led the Pac-12 in rushing yards (1,603) and ranked 4th in the nation in rushing yards per game (145.7). Christian McCaffrey would also set a Stanford single-game rushing record with 284 rushing yards against Pac-12 rival, California.
After declaring for the 2017 NFL Draft, Christian McCaffrey was selected with the No. 8 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers. Christian McCaffrey proved to be an immediate playmaker for the Carolina Panthers, providing the team with another versatile weapon for Cam Newton to utilize. Christian McCaffrey would go on to become the only rookie running back to catch at least 70 passes and 5 touchdowns (Alvin Kamara would also accomplish this feat in the same season). Christian McCaffrey wrapped up an impressive rookie campaign with 435 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 80 receptions, 651 receiving yards, and five receiving touchdowns.
Christian McCaffrey continued to be a prolific NFL player by breaking NFL and franchise records during the 2018 NFL season. He would set the Carolina Panthers' franchise record for most yards from scrimmage with 237 total yards in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. In Week 16 of the 2018 NFL Season, Christian McCaffrey broke Matt Forte's record for most receptions by a running back in a single season. Christian McCaffrey became the Panthers franchise record holder of all-purpose yards in a season with 1,965 after a successful second season in the NFL.
As one of the young superstars of the league, Christian McCaffrey has proven to be a dangerous offensive weapon and a matchup nightmare for NFL defensive coordinators. He's also done a great job at winning some people's Fantasy Football leagues with his impressive statistical seasons. Given his success on the field and the lack of autograph signing appearances, Christian McCaffrey has earned his spot as a headliner for any Ultimate Mystery Box series he's featured in.