If you tuned into the Stanford Spring Game with hopes of seeing Christian McCaffrey actually do anything you would have been greatly disappointed.
All he did was field punts with nobody being allowed to touch the punt return man.
Instead, last year’s promising freshman, Bryce Love got probably the bulk of the carries. The 5-10, 180 Love is a burner and he will spell McCaffrey in the Fall.
The biggest battle at Stanford right now is for the quarterback position. Last year’s starter, Kevin
Hogan, is finally gone after what seems like about 10 seasons. Hogan may have been abused by fans, but he was a solid Quarterback for the Cardinal for the past few seasons which was slightly less than 10.
Keller Chryst was last year’s back up and he is in a struggle with Ryan Burns for the starter’s job. Chryst is going to be a junior next season and Burns will be a senior.
After watching them both in the limited scrimmage, I’d have to say that the Stanford coaches will have a hard time deciding between the two. They are both about 6-5, 235. They have similar arm strength and both are very good athletes and they run very well. They are both obviously intelligent and can lead the offense. David Shaw and his Offensive Coordinator might have a hard time deciding between the two.
KJ Costello, one of the top Quarterback recruits in the country, will be at Stanford in the summer. He’s an incredible prospect, but will a freshman be ready to play? Plus, he probably won’t have anything over a junior and a senior even if he’s more talented physically.
As expected, last year’s Right Tackle Casey Tucker has moved over to the Left Tackle position.
Bryan Fanaika started at Left Guard and Jesse Burkett was at Center. Johnny Caspers started at Right Guard and David Bright started at Right Tackle.
Clearly, only Tucker returns up front, but this Offensive Line looks like the typical Stanford line. They are very physical and athletic. Plus, they are kind of intelligent. Right Tackle Bright is a
Bio-mechanical Engineering major.
Excellent Tight End Austin Hooper declared for the NFL leaving a year early, but no worries at Tight End for Stanford. 6-6, 240 Dalton Schultz is back, as is 6-5, 250 Greg Taboada. Super 4 star Tight End recruit, Kaden Smith from Texas will be arriving in the summer and he’s a player.
Unbelievably, Michael Rector is back at Wide Receiver and he is the team’s deep threat. But, sophomore Trent Irwin is probably their best all around receiver with good hands and excellent route running ability. Francis Owusu was the guy that made the spectacular catch last season behind the opponent’s back in the End Zone.
As long as the Offensive Line comes through and they get good Quarterback play, the Stanford offense could be a force to be reckoned with again.
Christian McCaffrey is fun to watch, but the Stanford defense has been really good since David Shaw took over as Stanford coach.
Solomon Thomas may be the best player on defense this next year, and he is impressive. Thomas
Thomas is ripped and a physical specimen and is now playing Defensive End where he can better use his skills.
Harrison Phillips should start at Nose Guard, and Luke Kaumatule at the other End. The Cardinal
should have more depth this year on the Defensive Line with Jordan Watkins, Dylan Jackson and Eric Cotton. Plus, they should get a nice addition of talent when the rest of the freshmen arrive. Mike Williams, Bo Peek, Thomas Schaffer and Jovan Swann are guys that will provide some depth for a change.
The defense will miss Linebacker Blake Martinez, but Noor Davis returns as does Kevin Palma. Outside Linebackers Peter Kalambayi and Joey Alfieri are also back.
They say this may be the best secondary that Stanford has had in years.
Dallas Lloyd is the Kevin Hogan of the defense in that he seems to have been around forever. Zach Hoffpauir returns after a year in professional baseball.
Quenton Meeks, Alijah Holder, Alameen Murphy and Justin Reid are just a few of the many talented players they have returning.
Stanford has one of the best secondary coaches in America in Duane Akina. While he was at Texas, Akina developed a lot of NFL quality Defensive Backs.
David Shaw has produced 11-2, 12-2, 11-3, 8-5 and 12-2 seasons at Stanford since taking over for Jim Harbaugh.
Probably, the 2016 season will be right up there with the best of them.
But, I can’t tell you will be the starting Quarterback.