Christian McCaffrey is upset his former Stanford teammate and friend Zach Hoffpauir died recently. On Instagram, the Carolina Panthers running back paid tribute to Hoffpauir with a series of photos and an emotional message. McCaffrey started by saying that Hoffpauir was one of his "best friends in the world." He also noted that Hoffpauir taught him different things in his life, including not caring about what people think of him.
"He never lost an argument, or a dance battle, and he said what he meant and meant what he said," McCaffrey wrote. "I never doubted for a second whether or not he had my back. He was a true friend and a great brother to anyone he knew. He was a walking example of how to care for people, a rare soul." McCaffrey went on to say they talked about living their lives when they got older. The Stanford alum also wrote he would cherish the memories they made over the years.
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"I love you and your family and I promise we'll make you proud," McCaffrey wrote at the end of the post. "Watch over us. Hug your loved ones extra today." The cause of his death has not been announced, but the family is donating his brain to Boston University for concussion research. His father told The Mercury News that the death was not suicide, but Hoffpauir revealed on a podcast last year he suffered at least five of six concussions in his career.
McCaffrey's father, Ed, reacted to the news of Hoffpauir's death on Instagram. "I am devastated by the loss of Zach Hoffpauir, a friend to me and my family since his playing days with my son Christian at Stanford," Ed wrote on Instagram, who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos. "He was like a brother to our boys and recently found his calling as our safeties coach at Northern Colorado. He was a young, intelligent coach with limitless potential."
Hoffpauir, who also played baseball, left school in 2015 after being drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 22nd round. He returned to school to resume his football career in 2016 after recording a .258 batting average with 3 home runs in Class A ball. He played free safety and recorded 35 tackles and three pass breakups in 10 games during his senior season in 2016.