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"It doesn’t show up on the stat sheet," recalled Carolina wide receivers coach Lance Taylor, McCaffrey’s position coach the past three seasons at Stanford. Star Lotulelei Jerseys "It doesn’t show up on any highlights or anything because it was called back. "But it was just an unbelievable, freak-of-nature return." You’ve heard about the "wow" factor McCaffrey has brought to the Carolina Panthers' offense as a running back, slot receiver and wide receiver.

You’ve heard how the eighth pick of the draft has juked out middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and others to the point running back Jonathan Stewart said nobody in the NFL will be able to stop McCaffrey one-on-one. Cam Newton Jerseys Well, oh by the way, McCaffrey is just as dangerous on special teams. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound dynamo didn’t return a punt or a kickoff in Carolina’s preseason opener against Houston. There are no guarantees he will in Saturday’s preseason game at Tennessee. There’s no real reason to risk injury. Greg Olsen Jerseys But McCaffrey is listed first on the depth chart at punt returner and as a backup as a kickoff returner. You can bet he’ll be a weapon when the regular season starts.

"He's a home run hitter when it comes to the return game," Taylor said. "He's special, just like all the other phases that we’ve seen him working." The Kansas State return that didn’t count magnifies that. Jonathan Stewart Jerseys Taylor recommended Jim Skipper take a look at it before the draft, when the running backs coach asked for a few examples of what McCaffrey could do. "Ten minutes later, Coach Skipper came back in and he was like, 'Hey, man! This guy is pretty special,'" Taylor recalled. The Panthers arguably haven’t had a punt-return specialist this special since Steve Smith in his first three seasons (2001-2003). Smith returned four punts for touchdowns during that span, two coming in 2002.

There have been only four other punts returned for touchdowns in team history, all by different players. Kelvin Benjamin Jerseys This isn’t to suggest McCaffrey will be returning punts for touchdowns like Devin Hester, who holds the NFL record with 14. McCaffrey had only one punt return for a touchdown at Stanford, a 63-yarder in the 2016 Rose Bowl against Iowa. He had only one kickoff return for a touchdown, a 98-yarder against California in 2015.