Not many expected to see Tyler Gaffney play football for the Stanford Cardinal ever again after he sat out the 2012 season to pursue a professional baseball career. With his one year in the majors behind him, though, the fifth-year running back has returned to the Farm and is ready to help the Cardinal make a run at the 2014 National Championship.
Despite his year-long absence from the gridiron, Gaffney is already considered a key component to Stanford’s offensive attack in 2013.
Gaffney with team with fellow running backs Anthony Wilkerson, Ricky Seale, Remound Wright and Barry Sanders Jr. to form one of the most talent-laden positional groups in all of college football. While Wilkerson and Gaffney are expected to see the majority of the touches, all five could get considerable playing time throughout the season.
Even with an overload of talent at the running back position, Gaffney is expected to make a significant impact for Stanford this upcoming season. While the other ball-carriers bring unique skill sets to the table, Gaffney is a do-it-all type of guy whose well-rounded game allows him to help early and often. Whether the Cardinal need him to run the ball on first down or block on third-and-long, Gaffney is a versatile back who answers the call no matter the task.
More than anything, Gaffney brings a hard-nosed, hit-you-in-the-mouth style of play that the Cardinal need in 2013. He isn’t afraid to deliver punishing hits to defenders and picks up the tough yards with his drive and tenacity.
The Cardinal will surely attack opponents with a running-back-by-committee approach in 2013. With Gaffney in the mix, Stanford is sure to be that much more dangerous on the ground.