Tyler Gaffney is leaving professional baseball to make a surprise return to the Stanford football team.
After a year of playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates' Class-A affiliate, Stanford said Monday that the former running back will rejoin the team after enrolling in classes again April 1. He will participate in the second half of spring practices and should help alleviate the loss of starting running back Stepfan Taylor.
Gaffney ran for 449 yards and seven touchdowns and had 79 receiving yards with another TD as a backup to Taylor in his junior season. The Pirates drafted the two-sport star in the 24th round last year, and he hasn't played football since Stanford's overtime loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2012.