McCaffrey to Skip Sun Bowl; Running Back will begin NFL Draft Training

STANFORD, Calif. – Christian McCaffrey will not play in the Sun Bowl, the junior running back announced Monday. McCaffrey will direct his focus and efforts toward training for the 2017 NFL Draft.

“We understand that this was a very difficult decision. For three years Christian has not only been a great player, but a great teammate as well,” said David Shaw, Stanford’s Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. “We wish him great success at the next level, as we continue our preparation for the Sun Bowl.”

The Sun Bowl Association, on behalf of the Hyundai Sun Bowl has released a statement.

“Well we would be lying if we said we weren’t a little disappointed, but at the same time, we are also understanding,” said Executive Director Bernie Olivas.

“He (McCaffrey) was hurt earlier this year so I am sure that weighed on his decision. He has a tremendous NFL career ahead of him and that might be sitting in the back of his head. Risking injury or re-injuring might be some things he is thinking about so it really is hard to be too disappointed. Although some might see this as a trend, I believe that playing in a bowl game would be a great way to wrap up a college career. We’ve had our fair share of players who have played in our game and I hope we continue to see more,” Olivas stated.

Stanford makes its 28th all-time — and school-record eighth straight — bowl appearance Dec. 30 when it faces North Carolina in the Sun Bowl. It is the third meeting between the programs and first since 1998.

The 2016 Hyundai Sun Bowl is set for Friday, Dec. 30 in Sun Bowl Stadium with kick-off scheduled for noon with North Carolina taking on nationally ranked Stanford.