Shayne Skov's Return Is Key for Stanford's Championship Run

Austin Kemp@@Theaustinator_1Analyst IJanuary 25, 2013

STANFORD, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Shayne Skov #11 of the Stanford Cardinal stands on the field before their game against the UCLA Bruins in the Pac-12 Championship game at Stanford Stadium on November 30, 2012 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With a Rose Bowl win in Stanford’s back pocket, key players have announced that they will return in 2013. Arguably the most important return was from linebacker Shayne Skov.  Returning for his fifth year, Skov will anchor the Stanford defense once again in his last season in the Cardinal and White.

It's safe to say that Stanford has transformed themselves into a program with a nasty defense.  

To argue that point would be impossible as Stanford held the vaunted Oregon offense to a season-low 14 points.  With Skov coming back, not only will Stanford have one of the best linebackers in the Nation, but they will also be one of the best overall defenses in the nation. 

Skov was injured and missed a chunk of the 2011 season, which meant he wasn’t fully healthy last offseason.  It’ll be interesting to see how much he improves with a full offseason of training, and being healthy. 

Toughness oozes out of this kid when he’s on the football field.  According to The Stanford Daily, Skov was only playing around 85 percent by the end of the season.  Playing college football isn’t easy, especially when you aren't feeling 100 percent.  If he was at 85 percent at the end of the year, what was he when the season started?  Shayne Skov has the prototypical attitude that any coach would want their linebackers to have.  Tough, nasty, and physical can all be linked to Skov’s name, and it’ll show even more this coming season.

Shayne Skov was a 5-star linebacker prospect coming out of high school, and there may only be 14 more games left in his Stanford career.  A possible National Championship has to be on the mind of Skov and fellow linebacker Trent Murphy, who also decided to return for one more year.