After putting together one of the best recruiting classes in the history of Stanford football, big talent is headed to the farm this fall, and it couldn’t come at a better time.
Big names like Andrew Luck and David DeCastro are trading in their Cardinal uniforms for NFL colors. With holes in Stanford’s team—especially their offense—the incoming freshman class has big shoes to fill.
These five freshmen were all top recruits, so let’s take a look at how they will work in Stanford’s 2012 team.
Kyle Murphy, an offensive tackle from San Clemente, Calif., decided to leave Southern California, and the opportunity to play for the USC Trojans, and move north where he will play for coach David Shaw in the fall.
The 5-star recruit was ranked as the No. 3 offensive tackle by Rivals, and he will provide much-needed protection for quarterback Andrew Luck’s replacement.
With All-American linemen like David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin moving up to the NFL, Stanford has a need for big guys on the O-line. At 6’7’’, this 275-pound lineman will join a trio of strong offensive prospects and is expected to play for Stanford in the fall. Murphy’s challenge will be to put on weight and gain strength quickly to make his presence felt as a freshman or face a possible redshirt first year.
Andrus Peat is another big offensive tackle—6’7’’ and 305 pounds—that should play an important part of Stanford’s front line.
An Arizona native, Peat is another 5-star recruit, and ranked as the No. 6 offensive tackle by Rivals.
Peat will add depth to Stanford’s offensive line. This season the Cardinal are expected to place more emphasis on running the ball up the middle. This strategy is a key part of David Shaw’s blue print and with new talent on the O-line, Stanford’s foundation for a potent running game should be solid.
Rounding out Stanford’s promising freshman class on the offensive line is Joshua Garnett.
Garnett is an offensive guard from Washington. A 4-star recruit, Rivals ranked Garnett as the No. 2 offensive guard.
Despite the incredible depth on Stanford’s O-line, Garnett’s size—6’5’’ and 295 pounds—and consistent play could secure him a starting spot.
Stanford will add 5-star recruit Aziz Shittu at the defensive end position come fall.
When Shittu committed to Stanford, he didn’t just sign on to play—he started recruiting other uncommitted players.
“I love Stanford football and I want my team to be the best team in the country every year,” said Shittu (via Rivals). “I’m trying to get great players to come along with me. That’s basically the role I play.”
Although Shittu will be adding to the much-needed defensive strength for the Cardinal, we can expect his infectious team spirit to pump up Stanford players as well.
Alex Carter, a 4-star recruit from Virginia, is coming to Stanford at a critical time. Certainly not by accident.
In 2011, the Cardinal’s secondary was faced with constant injury. As a result, they had trouble consistently stopping strong passing attacks.
With Carter at safety, Stanford’s interception stats should significantly improve. The No. 3 safety, as ranked by Rivals, boasts a 4.43 40-yard dash time and his speed will certainly improve pass receiving coverage on the Farm.