Stanford needs to replace three-year starter Matt Masifilo along the defensive line.
We have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the likes of Stepfan Taylor and Chase Thomas this season, but replacing Andrew Luck and the other members of last year's 11-win squad will require a team effort. Over the next 12 days we'll profile 12 less heralded Cardinal players whose ability to adjust to larger roles could determine whether Stanford is competing for a third straight BCS invite or settling for a spot in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Name: Henry Anderson
Career Stats: 6 tackles (1 solo), fumble recovery
Shoes to Fill: Matt Masifilo
Where He Came From: Anderson, a Georgia fan who played at Woodward Academy just outside of Atlanta, was rated the 27th-best defensive end in the Class of 2010 by Rivals.com. He chose Stanford over more than a dozen other schools, including Georgia Tech, and said Jim Harbaugh was the only guy he'd met who was more competitive than him.
What He's Done: Anderson redshirted in his first year on the Farm and added some bulk to his 6-foot-6 frame. He appeared in all 13 games last season, finishing with six tackles, two QB hurries and one memorable fumble recovery. In the season opener against San Jose State, Chase Thomas forced a fumble and Anderson scooped up the loose ball. He rumbled 37 yards before getting tripped up inches from the goal line. "I didn’t want to run up and try to grab it too quick and kick it out of bounds, so I wanted to make sure I had the ball first," Anderson said afterward. "I probably took a little too long trying to pick that up, but the coaches always tell us if there’s no one around the ball you can try and scoop it and run with it."
Training Camp Outlook: With three-year starter Josh Masifilo gone, Anderson is competing with junior Josh Mauro for the starting spot at defensive end opposite Ben Gardner. Masifilo had 34 tackles, including eight for a loss and 2.5 sacks for a Stanford defensive unit that allowed only 84 rushing yards per game, third-best in the country. Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart says he hasn't determined Masifilo's replacement, but the Cardinal may rotate Gardner, Mauro and Anderson at the end position. Highly touted freshman Aziz Shittu could also force his way onto the field. For what it's worth, Anderson looked good during Saturday's open practice:
Henry Anderson also solid in dl. His height a huge factor. Deflected two passes.— Dave Fowkes (@Sportsking) August 11, 2012
Anderson on Twitter: @HenryAnderson91
Daps to whoever finally synced up the stoplights on el Camino— Henry Anderson (@HenryAnderson91) July 10, 2012
Alphabetically Speaking: On the list of Stanford letterwinners, Henry Anderson falls between guard Gary A. Anderson (1973-76) and wide receiver Ray Anderson (1973-75).
Numerically Speaking: Roger Stillwell, who also wore No. 91, was a first-team All-America selection in 1973 and a ninth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1975 NFL Draft.
Related Video: Anderson's fumble recovery and near touchdown against San Jose State.
Fun Fact: Stanford freshman defensive tackle Jordan Watkins attended Woodward Academy, as did former Stanford defensive tackle Julian Jenkins (2002-05).