One of the best running backs in the West, Christian McCaffrey of Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian, recently picked up an offer from Notre Dame. He explains the unique role he'd play for the Irish, his timetable for decision, and his in-depth visit plans.
Running back Christian McCaffrey has been surrounded by elite athletes his entire life. His brother, Max, is a sophomore wide receiver at Duke. His dad, Ed, played at Stanford and had a long career in the NFL. His mom, Lisa, played soccer at Stanford.
Despite the evaluation period that’s coming up in a few weeks, McCaffrey kicked off last weekend with some good news before taking a visit to his parents’ alma mater.
“I wasn’t expecting the Notre Dame offer, at least this early,” McCaffrey said. “I thought they were going to come out to my high school this spring and get a look at me physically and in action first. But, [running backs coach] (Tony) Alford told me to call him today, and it was an offer.”
“Notre Dame likes my speed and my ability to do multiple things out of the backfield,” McCaffrey said. “They want me catching and running in a hybrid role. They said I would be like #6 [Theo Riddick] on Notre Dame right now.”
McCaffrey said his speed allows him to get to the outside and excel on the edges.
“Last time I ran the 40-yard [dash] was sophomore year, and I ran a 4.41,” he said. “I think I’ve improved since then.”
The 6-foot, 190- pound running back wants to check out some more schools before putting out a list of top schools.
“I don’t have any favorites right now,” McCaffrey said. “I’m going to wait until I visit some more schools, obviously Notre Dame being one of them. I’ll have a better idea of my top five probably around mid-summer. Right now I plan on taking all my official visits, but we’ll see what happens.”
McCaffrey said he’s planning on taking his visits by hitting different regions of the country.
“I’ll separate my visits by location,” he said. “I’ll do a tour of the West coast and see Washington, Oregon, UCLA, and Arizona State. Then, I’ll go to Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and then Florida State and maybe some southern schools.”
McCaffrey said his (second) visit to Stanford went well last weekend.
“It was really good and I got a nice tour of campus, McCaffrey said. “It was nice to see the players really get after it in practice, and it was nice to talk with the coaches. My dad and mom are being great about letting me make my own decision though. My brother went all the way to Duke and he really likes it.”
“Location doesn’t matter to me; I mean it would nice, but I want to find the best school overall for me,” McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey said what he knows about the Irish so far is all positive.
“The Irish are known for their history of football and they are fun to watch,” McCaffrey said. “It’s pretty cool that I could be a big part of their offense. Academics will be huge with me, and Notre Dame is a great school. I’ve heard the culture up there is amazing and their fan base is second to none.”
McCaffrey is a four-star prospect and ranked as the No. 13 running back in the 2014 class. He has over 20 offers including Florida State, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and Washington.