9. Christian McCaffrey – Stanford 2014-16
Christian McCaffrey’s amazing 2015 season sits in the record books. He has the fifth-most scrimmage yards in a season in college football history, putting up a ridiculous 2,664 in 14 games. Add in his kick returns and it looks even better. McCaffrey had the most all-purpose plays (basically touches of the ball) in the history of college football. Stanford put the ball in his hands 434 times this season. That led to another record, breaking Barry Sanders’ record for most all-purpose yards 3,864. He didn’t just beat it, he destroyed it by more than 500 yards.
His career numbers are spectacular. He has just under 4,000 yards rushing despite only being the starter for two years. He has over 1,200 receiving yards in his career. He was a big-play monster, constantly putting up plays of 50+ yards.
His award shelf is out of the room. He was named Associated Press college football Player of the Year for his ridiculous 2015 season. His return game gave him the Johnny Rodgers Award. He was a consensus All American. Honestly, it was one of the best Heisman Trophy debates in recent memory against Derrick Henry. Henry won out with 378 votes to McCaffrey’s 290 first-place votes.
McCaffrey is now one of the best running backs in the NFL, if not the best. He might be the best pure talent on this list. He’s that rare combination of between-the-tackles runner who can beat a cornerback deep and juke a linebacker out of his shoes. His two years as a starter at Stanford was a sight to behold.