Where is Christian McCaffrey from? Hometown, college & more to know about 49ers star's roots

Where is Christian McCaffrey from? Hometown, college & more to know about 49ers star's roots

A homecoming? Not quite.

Christian McCaffrey rose to football stardom because of his career at Stanford, eventually landing as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Panthers. McCaffrey continued his ascent as a football player in Carolina, but he made his way back to the West Coast at the 2022 NFL trade deadline.

While the star running back is back out west, it’s not exactly a matter of the prodigal son returning home — McCaffrey is a Colorado man, through and through, though he has become somewhat associated with being a Cali kid.

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Here’s what to know about McCaffrey’s upbringing, and his path from purple mountain majesty to a majestic college stint at Stanford:

Where is Christian McCaffrey’s hometown?

There’s a misconception that McCaffrey went to high school (or was born and raised) in California. McCaffrey was, in fact, born and raised in the great state of Colorado. He was born in Castle Rock, Colo., and was enrolled in two high schools in the state.

He first attended Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora, Colo., about a half-hour outside Denver) for his freshman year, and then finished his high school career at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. 

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McCaffrey may not be a California legend, but he is a Colorado one: For his high school efforts in football, he was named Gatorade Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, and he holds several state records:

  • Total career touchdowns: 141 
  • Career touchdown receptions: 47
  • Single season all-purpose yards: 3,032
  • Career all-purpose yards: 8,845

While he ultimately stuck at running back, he also played wide receiver, cornerback and punter.

Where did Christian McCaffrey go to college?

McCaffrey followed in his parents’ footsteps and attended Stanford University from 2014-16, playing in 37 games across three seasons.

While attending Stanford is something of a family rite of passage, the Cardinal weren’t the only program chasing Colorado’s top recruit. McCaffrey turned down offers from Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon and Florida State.

His father, former NFL wideout Ed McCaffrey, and his mother, Lisa, attended Stanford. Lisa was a standout athlete in her own right: A soccer player, she started three years for the Cardinal from 1987-90. Ed attended Stanford from 1986-91.

Christian McCaffrey college stats

McCaffrey was a dominant player for the Cardinal. In 37 games across three seasons, he racked up these numbers (per Sports Reference):


He was also an accomplished returner. In 56 career kick returns, McCaffrey totaled 1,479 return yards; he gained another 380 yards on 34 punt returns. He returned a punt and a kick for a touchdown.

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For his college career, McCaffrey averaged 6.2 yards per carry. He holds the FBS record for all-purpose yards in a season with 3,864 yards in 2015.

McCaffrey’s dazzling career at Stanford earned him a load of accolades:

  • 2015 Paul Hornung award
  • 2015 Jet Award (top return specialist)
  • 2015 AP College Football Player of the Year
  • 2015 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year
  • 2015 Consensus All-American
  • 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist

McCaffrey would lose out to some guy named Derrick Henry for the Heisman.