STANFORD, Calif. - Running back Tyler Gaffney was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Gaffney was the 28th pick of the round and 204th overall.
"I am stoked," Gaffney said. "This is a great team to be a part of. From everything I hear and see about the Panthers, everybody should want to be a Panther. I'm glad the Panthers believe in me and will allow me to show everybody what I can truly do."
Gaffney is the second Cardinal running back in the last two seasons to be drafted, following Stepfan Taylor’s fifth-round selection in 2013. Even more, Gaffney’s former teammates fullback Owen Marecic went to Cleveland in the fourth round of the 2011 draft and Toby Gerhart was a second-round choice by Minnesota in 2010.
Gaffney returned to Stanford for his senior season and completion of his degree after a 2012 hiatus while playing professional baseball. He was also selected in the 24th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"I had the opportunity after being drafted by the Pirates to play for them. That opportunity obviously doesn't come around for everybody, so it was something I didn't think I could pass up at the time," Gaffney said. "Toward the end of the year, I realized football was my love, that it was something I couldn't put behind me."
Gaffney is the latest two-sport star to develop his skills on The Farm, joining names such as John Lynch, Chad Hutchinson and Toby Gerhart.
He started the first game of the 2013 season and played all 14 contests en route to 1,709 yards rushing on 330 attempts, each standing as the second-best single-season totals in Stanford history.
His 21 rushing touchdowns were good for the third-best single-season total in Stanford history and fifth-best in the nation.
Gaffney registered 86 yards and one touchdown on 15 catches and eclipsed 100 yards rushing nine times during the season. His 1,795 all-purpose yards were good for the 10th-best single-season total in Stanford history.
He tallied a career-high 189 yards rushing on 33 carries against Notre Dame. In the Pac-12 Championship game at Arizona State, he rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries, including a 69-yard score on the third play from scrimmage.
A Doak Walker semifinalist, Pac-12 Football Championship Game MVP and Stanford’s team MVP, Gaffney was also named Athlon Sports All-Pac-12 first team, All-Pac-12 second team, USA Today All-America second team, CBSSports.com All-America third team, Athlon Sports All-America third team, Phil Steele All-America fourth team and SI.com All-America honorable mention.
As a junior in 2011, Gaffney played in 13 games and amassed 449 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 74 carries. He added 12 receptions for 79 yards and one touchdown.
He appeared in 10 of 13 games as a sophomore and rushed for 255 yards and four touchdowns on 60 carries.
As a true freshman, Gaffney saw action in 12 games as he rushed for 87 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries.