It doesn't sound like Christian McCaffrey ever seriously considered playing at Colorado once Stanford came into the picture.
Still, the nation's leader in all-purpose yardage figures to be intent on putting on a show in the state where he grew up.
McCaffrey looks to post a seventh straight 100-yard rushing effort and help the No. 9 Cardinal stretch their win streak to eight Saturday against the Buffaloes.
"It's going to be a special week," said McCaffrey, whose high school coach plans to take his entire team to the game.
The son of former Stanford and NFL star Ed McCaffrey, Christian McCaffrey grew up in suburban Denver when his father - a three-time Super Bowl champion - played for the Broncos. Colorado (4-5, 1-4 Pac-12) tried its luck unsuccessfully to persuade McCaffrey to play for the Buffaloes.
"We definitely tried to recruit him but I think he was probably going to Stanford all along there for a minute," coach Mike MacIntyre said.
McCaffrey is averaging 244.3 all-purpose yards - no other FBS player is above 220 - and only four players have averaged more than 200 in the Pac-12 since 1978. He is 10th in the nation with 132.5 rushing yards per game and is also the club's leader in receptions (25) and receiving yards (310). McCaffrey has totaled 936 rushing yards in the last six games.
"His body control and his quickness and his acceleration are all dynamic," coach David Shaw said.
It's no surprise that Shaw tries to give McCaffrey as much action as possible. The sophomore has the most kickoff returns in the conference with 19 for an average of 29.4 yards that is the Pac-12's fourth-best mark. He's also returned nine punts.
"McCaffrey at tailback, receiver, returner, I guess he's on the field all the time," MacIntyre said. "For a minute there, I kind of got worried because they had a No. 5 on defense so I said, 'Wow they have him doing that too,' but they have double numbers, although he probably could (play defense)."
The Buffaloes will be hard-pressed to stop him since they have the Pac-12's third-worst rushing defense, allowing 201.6 yards per game. That figure is at 244.6 in conference play.
"He runs hard. He runs with a purpose. He hits that hole going downhill, and he won't let one person bring him down," Colorado linebacker Kenneth Olugbode said.
Stanford (7-1, 6-0) is enjoying its longest win streak since ending 2012 by winning eight in a row. The Cardinal are the only team unbeaten in Pac-12 play and are ranked 11th by the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Last Saturday's 30-28 win at Washington State gave Stanford a 2 1/2-game lead in the North Division over the Cougars and Oregon. The Cardinal have three unranked conference foes left to polish off before a marquee season finale against No. 8 Notre Dame.
That doesn't mean they won't have their full attention on Colorado, an opponent outscored by Stanford 96-7 in two Pac-12 matchups in 2011 and 2012.
MacIntyre took over the Buffaloes the next season. Colorado has been more competitive, nearly ending a 19-game losing streak to ranked opponents with last Saturday's 35-31 loss at then-No. 24 UCLA.
"These guys are fighters, these guys make plays, these guys get turnovers, these guys make every team play into the fourth quarter," Shaw said about Colorado. "And if you're strong enough, you have a chance to win. If you're not, then you won't."
Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liafau will look to target Nelson Spruce, the conference's all-time leader with 267 receptions. Spruce is second in the Pac-12 with 63 this year.
"He broke a record which is awesome and will stand for a while, but the thing about Nelson is he's a phenomenal student, he's a phenomenal person, he's a great leader and he is going to be a success in whatever he decides to do," MacIntyre said.
Liafau was 37 of 57 for 312 yards with two interceptions last week. Spruce had season highs of 11 catches and 90 yards.
While Stanford ranks third in the conference with 221.8 rushing yards per game, Colorado is fourth with 196.9. The Buffaloes have six players who have rushed for between 212-489 yards.
Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan is eighth in the nation with 9.34 yards per attempt. Hogan threw for 86 yards last Saturday for the lowest total of his career as a starter, and his streak of six straight games with a touchdown pass ended.