Last week, the Stanford football program celebrated its greatest national signing day ever, as three 5-star recruits chose the Cardinal on Feb. 1.
But unbeknownst to the college football world, Stanford had two days earlier suffered what could be a severe blow to its 2012 defense, as star LB Shayne Skov was arrested by campus police for a DUI early in the morning of Jan. 29, according to the Feb. 6 edition of the Stanford student newspaper, The Stanford Daily.
Skov, the dynamic and disruptive leader of the Cardinal defense, led the team in 2010 in tackles and dominated Virginia Tech in the 2011 Orange Bowl with 12 tackles and three sacks as Stanford won 40-12.
Skov started the 2011 season strong before suffering a season-ending ACL injury at Arizona in September. He was expected to return at full strength in 2012 and was widely regarded as among the nation's top senior inside LBs.
Incidents such as Skov's alleged DUI are fairly rare among Stanford athletes. Cardinal head coach David Shaw told The Stanford Daily, “It’s a matter we are taking very seriously. Shayne will be responsible to adhere to any legal responsibilities regarding this event, along with internal ramifications, which will be determined by the program.”
While Jarek Lancaster and A.J. Tarpley played admirably in Skov's place in 2011, Skov possesses unique intensity and instincts. If he misses any part of the 2012 season as a result of the DUI arrest, it will be up to Lancaster, Tarpley and the rest of the Cardinal defense to step up once again.