CARSON, Calif. -- Christian McCaffrey came close to winning the Heisman Trophy in 2015, but it's his brother, Max McCaffrey who is trying to carry the family legacy into the NFL in 2016.
After four years as a wide receiver at Duke, Max McCaffrey is trying to make a name for himself in front of NFL scouts and talent evaluators at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, an All-Star Game in Southern California. His father, Ed McCaffrey, played 13 seasons in the pros and his brother Christian has snagged most of the spotlight in the college ranks, but Max insists he doesn't mind one bit.
"I'm so proud of Christian and everything he's been able to accomplish this year," McCaffrey said. "It has been an unreal year for him and I'm very glad to be his brother and be able to watch that and be a part of that with him. It's a positive for the family."
While his brother racked up 3,864 all-purpose yards as a sophomore for the Stanford Cardinals in 2015, a new NCAA record, Max has to convince scouts that his subpar numbers at Duke don't mean he'll struggle to produce in the NFL. In his career as a Blue Devil, McCaffrey tallied 12 touchdown receptions, but never once eclipsed 100 receiving yards in a game.
"Numbers aren't everything, I think people know that," McCaffrey said. "When you watch film, you see there a lot of other things that people can do that you don't necessarily see in the stat book."
In one-on-one drills at the NFLPA Bowl, against defensive backs like Mike Hilton, an All-SEC selection from Ole Miss, McCaffrey has the opportunity to show his mettle as a receiver against top competition.
"I think I've done well," McCaffrey said. "We've got a lot of good guys out here, a lot of good receivers, a lot of good quarterbacks, and it's just a great experience to come out and play against these DBs, who have been doing well all season and making great plays here. It's fun to work against them."
The NFLPA Bowl will be played on Saturday, one day before the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots face off in the AFC Championship. After his dad spent nine seasons as a receiver for the Broncos, including a Pro Bowl year in 1998, McCaffrey admitted that he has a soft spot for the Broncos.
However, with the 2016 NFL Draft just over three months away, he's ready to shed his fan allegiance to the team he grew up rooting for.
"I don't really care at this point. It's fun to watch, I've watched the Broncos ever since I was young. I was always a fan growing up so it's nice to see my hometown doing well, but at the same time, it's football and at this stage, anywhere you get picked, that's who you're going to be a fan of."
McCaffrey finished his collegiate career with four receptions in a 44-41 win over Indiana in the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl. It was the first bowl victory for Duke in over five decades.