That No. 20 guy who is Stanford’s RB also known as Christian McCaffrey’s replacement has a name. Bryce Love. The junior back from Wake Forest, N.C. is expected to be the top offensive option for Stanford and one of the premiere RBs in the Pac-12.
In a blowout win over Rice in Australia, Love set a career-high with 180 yards on only 13 carries. Coming off a bye week, No. 14 Stanford heads to Los Angeles Saturday to battle No. 6 USC for the first Pac-12 matchup of the season and the game will be aired on Fox at 5:30 p.m. PT.
Here’s five facts you need to know about Love:
1. The record setting one-two punch with McCaffrey
As long as McCaffrey was on the team, the spotlight will always be on him, but Love was a major contributor to Stanford’s running game last season. In fact, Love was the complimentary piece that McCaffrey needed.
The RB duo set a single-season school record in 2016 as top rushing tandem with 2,386 yards and Love became third in program history averaging 7.05 yards per carry.
2. Former track star
Love was also a multi-sport athlete growing up and ran track. His parents, Christopher and Angels, were track athletes and his father also ran track and played football at South Carolina.
Love currently holds the USATF 11-12 year-old boys national record in the 100-meter (11.64), 200-meter (23.37) and 400-meter (50.75) dash. It doesn’t stop there.Love also holds the USATF 13-14 year-old boys national record holder in the 100-meter (10.73) and 200-meter (21.83) dash.
In 2009, Love was also named the USATF Youth Athlete of the year. Safe to say Love has always possessed the speed, which calls for a successful career on the football field.
3. Scored game-winning TD at Notre Dame
If it wasn’t for Love, Stanford could’ve very well lost four consecutive games in 2016 and who knows if the mid-season landslide could’ve resulted in a sub-par season. In October, the Cardinal lost back-to-back games against Washington and Washington State and were facing another loss at Notre Dame.
Trailing 10-9, Love scored the go-ahead TD on a 7-yard run and the 2-point conversion to give Stanford a 7-point lead, eventually leaving the defense to stop Notre Dame. Love was Stanford’s leading rusher with 131 yards on 23 carries.
Stanford went on to win six of its final seven games and won the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
4. Named to Maxwell Award watch list
The Maxwell Award is given to the top college football player of the year and Love made the list. Love is the only Stanford player to make the watch list and is 1-of-5 Pac-12 RBs on it as well.
5. Fits the Stanford mold off the field
What’s another perk for playing for one of the Pac-12’s most historic program? The academics, of course. Stanford has academic standards of essentially being the Harvard of the west coast and Love is just as good of a scholar as he is a football player.
Here’s all of the academic accolades Love has accumulated: Raleigh Athletic Association Scholar Athlete and a Time Warner Scholar Athlete. He’s also in the National Beta Club, Distributive Education Clubs of America, National Honor Society and the National Achievers Honors Society.
Love is currently majoring in human biology. Not bad for the junior RB.