Former Heisman Trophy finalist Christian McCaffrey is forgoing his senior season at Stanford University to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
In a personally crafted letter posted on the Stanford Athletic Department website, the standout running back announced that he is ready to transform his childhood wishes into a reality.
"I talked to Coach (David) Shaw about everything," McCaffrey wrote. "He completely agreed. Really, it just made sense. The opportunity is right in front of me. Simply put, this is the best time to live out my dream."
Running untamed all over "The Farm" for the past three seasons, McCaffrey garnered the nickname "Wild Caff" in honor of his backfield prowess. He tallied 3,922 yards on the ground, 1,206 through the air and crossed into the end zone a total of 33 times while flashing the red and white.
Among a number of other individual records, McCaffrey set the FBS single-season all-purpose yardage mark last fall, an achievement previously held by legendary running back Barry Sanders.
No. 5 also headlined an offensive attack that drove the Cardinal to bowl games in each of his three seasons, including a Rose Bowl victory at the end of last year's campaign.
McCaffrey admitted that saying "goodbye" to his college career and his football brothers will be "extremely hard." With that in mind, the Colorado native made sure to soak in his final Stanford moments during the squad's final home game this season.
"After the locker room cleared out and the field was empty, I stepped out to the Block S at midfield and stood there a while," he wrote. "I walked to the north end zone and grabbed some turf, just to feel it one last time. I turned back and walked to the south end zone, knelt down and prayed"
McCaffrey plans to return to the Peninsula campus in the future and wrap up his Communication degree.
"Stanford does a great job of encouraging former players to return and graduate," he wrote. "Many come back and walk the same halls after their football careers are over to earn their degrees. I want to be that example for the next generation."